Concerns grow over ‘humanitarian tragedy’

They leave their homes in the hope of finding better job opportunities and improved living conditions. However, some drown and others are detained by coast guards when they arrive at their destinations. In the end, many who survive are sent back to where they came from.

Ahmad Al-Deek, a political adviser to the Palestinian foreign minister, told Arab News that those who embark on dangerous journeys in attempt to reach the shores of Greece pay smugglers between $7,000 and $10,000 to carry them there in old, overloaded, rickety boats that are unfit to sail. Some of the migrants are from the Gaza Strip, others are Palestinians from Syria and Lebanon

Boats designed to carry about 10 passengers can be loaded up with as many as 40 or 50 people, which is a major factor in the risk of capsizing and sinking, he said. In some cases the boats, most of which depart from Turkey or Libya, are deliberately sunk by smuggling gangs over disputes, he added.



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Joie Cooper

May your coffee be strong and your Monday be short. Coffee connoisseur. Part time writer, writes about politics in middle east and anything interesting