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Brain Drain in Palestinian Authority

The spokesman for Fatah in Tul Karem says that the economic situation in the PA has led to the emigration of many academics to the Persian Gulf.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 9/10/2006, 8:13 AM / Last Update: 9/10/2006, 11:03 AM

The spokesman for Fatah in the PA-controlled city of Tul Karem says that the difficult economic situation in the Hamas-led PA has led to the emigration of many academics to the Persian Gulf.

The spokesman, Samir Naifa, indirectly blamed Hamas for the situation.

He said the information he has indicates that some 20 engineers from the Tul Karem region alone (east of Netanya) have left recently for the Persian Gulf states. In addition, he said, many doctors have left Judea and Samaria, seeking work elsewhere, as have many Palestinian Authority employees. The latter have not been paid for several months.

Naifa, whose Fatah party was ousted from power by the Hamas in the PA elections eight months ago, said that many businessmen have stopped their projects. The reason, Naifa says, is because of the many obstacles placed in their way by the Hamas government, and the general lack of confidence in the economy.

An Israeli defense source confirmed the above. He told Arutz-7's Haggai Huberman, "Whoever can leave, runs away. Many factories have closed and money is not coming. Businessmen who came to Judea and Samaria are leaving."

Huberman recently reported on similar criticism coming from within Hamas itself. Hamas spokesman Razi Hamed wrote in a daily PA newspaper two weeks ago that the Palestinian Authority leadership and populace has failed to turn Gaza into a functioning society.

"Walking the streets of Gaza," Hamed wrote, "you get the feeling that you have to close your eyes: anarchy everywhere, policemen who don't care about public order, boys carrying guns, people setting up condolence tents in the middle of the street, and murders between rival families. Gaza has become a garbage dump, with a stink everywhere and sewage everywhere. The government can't do a thing, the opposition watches, the two sides fight between them, the Presidency is helpless; we have caught the bug of apathy..."