Trapped in Gaza

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Ma’an reports on Libyans trapped in Gaza and does not even blame Israel for their predicament.

But what is even more interesting is how some of them got there.

Libyans in Gaza say they have been trapped in the coastal enclave for decades since the Libyan regime prevented them from returning home.

Ali Muhammad Ali Al-Farahani, 32, said that today, some 2,000 descendants of Libyan fighters were in Gaza, and prevented from returning to the North African country by the Libyan government.

He said his father arrived in the Gaza Strip in the 1940s to help Palestinian fighters defend their land, adding that his parents were never able to return to Libya and died in Gaza.

Al-Farahani said the Libyan regime stripped those who went to Gaza of their citizenship as they went without permission from the Libyan leadership.

He said he recently published an appeal in the Libyan newspaper Al-Watan, sent with the spokesman of a Libyan flotilla sent to Gaza. Libyan officials contacted him but said the country’s leader Moammar Gadhafi forbade anyone to bring up the issue.

Rif’at Jamil Al-Ash’afi said his ancestors also trace back to Libya, from the city of Mesrata. There are now more than 150 descendants from the city living in the coastal enclave, he estimated.

Al-Ash’afi said said Gadhafi’s son held Egyptians, Tunisians and Palestinians responsible for the unrest in the country, and was unlikely to allow the descendants of Libyans to return.

Gadhafi has unleashed a bloody crackdown on anti-regime protests across the country, where citizens are calling for his ouster.

By the way, such “mercenaries” who came to Israel to help the Arabs drive Jews into the sea, may qualify as palestinian refugees according to the  UNRWA definition:



Under UNRWA’s operational definition, Palestine refugees are people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.

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An Aussie immigrant to Israel, David Lange is founder and managing editor of Israellycool. He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and single malt whisky.