Palestinian Refugee Drowns off Greek Coast

Palestinian Refugee Drowns off Greek Coast

Asylum seekers descend from a large fishing vessel used to transport them from Turkey to a Greek island. October 11, 2015. Credit: HRW

A 24-year-old Palestinian youth was pronounced dead after he drowned at sea, trying to illegally disembark in Greece.

Local Palestinian sources said Assaad Hatem Ghaban, from Beit Lahia town, north of the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, drowned after he set sail from Turkey on way to Greece.

Thousands of Palestinian refugees, including women and children, continue to risk their lives onboard migrant vessels trying to get to safety to European destinations. Scores of them have drowned at sea while several others have gone missing on the migration route.

According to Palestinian and Israeli media reports, 35,000 Palestinians migrated from Gaza to European countries in 2018.

More than 2 million Palestinians live in Gaza, including 1.3 Palestine refugees; they live in a tragic and disastrous situation because of the blockade imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities for more than twelve years. The blockade has left terrible consequences on all aspects of life; everything is indicating that Gaza is on the verge of collapse if such situation continues.

Almost 56.6% of Gaza population suffers from food insecurity and around half of the manpower is jobless (the unemployment rate exceeds 44%). As a result, more than 80% of Gaza population is living under the poverty line and almost half of the population is depending on monthly-based food assistance either from the government or UNRWA.

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