Gazan’s death abroad shines light on middle-class exodus

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The death abroad of a Palestinian who fled the Gaza Strip seeking a better life in Europe has highlighted the exodus of thousands of middle-class residents in recent years.

Tamer al-Sultan’s friends and family say he fled the oppressive rule of Hamas. Others are leaving because of the dire conditions in the territory, which has been under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade since the Islamic militant group seized power 12 years ago.

The exodus has gathered pace in recent years, raising fears that Gaza could lose its doctors, lawyers, teachers and thinkers, putting the Palestinians’ dream of establishing a prosperous independent state in even greater peril.

Al-Sultan had planned to go to Belgium, where he had relatives, but his journey ended in Bosnia, where he died last month aged 38.

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