RealNews

After Decades of Disappointment, Gazans Are Preparing to Rejoice

In this land of poverty, violence and dashed dreams of statehood, the Palestinians are revving up for the rarest of events in the Gaza Strip: a celebration.The Palestinian Authority is planning rallies as if it were the homestretch of an election campaign. Small sewing factories are cranking out thousands of Palestinian flags and street banners, T-shirts and backpacks that proclaim, “Today Gaza, tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem.” That message, intended to give Palestinians hope that Gaza first will not be Gaza last, is not exactly what the Israelis want to hear. Israel’s planned evacuation of Jewish settlers and soldiers from the strip, an operation set to begin Monday, has generated at least a small streak of optimism among Gazans. For the first time in decades, for example, they may be able to travel abroad without Israeli permission.Full Story

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