Friday, May 03, 2024

  • Friday, May 03, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

We've been reporting about how tens of thousands of Gazans have been desperately trying to leave the war zone, and are paying thousands of dollars in bribes to Egyptian officials to be called "VIPs" who have permission to take the bus from Rafah to Egypt.

This is a story that Palestinians and other Israel haters do not want the world to know, since they want to spread the myth the Gazans do not want to leave and choose to stay in Gaza due to their "sumud" (steadfastness.) Jordan and Egypt, for their part, want to tell the world that Gazans don't want to take refuge elsewhere, and world media for the most part accepts that lie without any fact checking.

Now, we have some specific statistics on how many Gazans have been leaving after raising the funds for the bribes - and how a single Egyptian company, whose owner is close to Egypt's President Sisi, has been enriched by charging these exorbitant fees.

Middle East Eye reported that the Hala company, owned by Egyptian businessman Ibrahim Al-Arjani, has the exclusive contract to transport Gazans through Rafah. It has increased it profits dramatically during April compared to earlier months this year.

Hala Consulting and Tourism Services charges Palestinians at least $5,000 per adult and $2,500 per child. The company has a monopoly on providing transportation services at the Rafah crossing.

An analysis of the passenger list published by Hala online reveals that in April, the company earned at least $58 million from approximately 10,136 adults and 2,910 children who crossed the border through its “VIP list.”

Before the war, Hala charged every person leaving Gaza via the Rafah crossing only $350 per person.

Based on passenger lists published since February 2, Hala's earnings from Palestinians are estimated at  $21 million in February, $38.5 million in March, and $58 million in April.

There are no public records between October 7 and February 2. According to the Palestinian ambassador to Cairo, Diab Al-Louh, between 80,000 and 100,000 people traveled from Gaza via Egypt since the start of the war.

Al Arjani does not only rip off Gazans. Another of his companies also charges charities going through the Rafah crossing to bring aid in.

One  international charity bringing in an aid truck into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing was forced  to pay $5,000 in the form of “management fees” to an Arjani company called “Sons of Sinai.” The charity described the fee as a bribe, and accused the Egyptian state of profiting from humanitarian aid.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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