A Palestinian girl swims at the Blue Beach Resort in Gaza City. (AP/Adel Hana) (AP/Adel Hana)
Gaza Luxury Hotel

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Gaza soccer Game

Palestinians in Gaza enjoy a soccer match. (Flash90)

A visit to Gaza would reveal a booming middle class enjoying the good life rather than the war-torn Gaza often portrayed in the mainstream media.

The world has grown accustomed to the media portrayal of Palestinians in Gaza as oppressed people fighting to survive in a perpetual war zone.

However, when a Western journalist actually visited the Strip, he encountered a completely different reality: Palestinians enjoying a rich cultural life, recreation and entertainment similar to the lifestyle enjoyed by the middle-class in other places across the globe.

“Alongside the Hamas training camps and bombed-out neighborhoods, there is a parallel reality where the wafer-thin Palestinian middle class here is wooed by massage therapists, spin classes and private beach resorts,” according to a Washington Post feature.

Gaza amusement park

Palestinian children enjoy the Gaza amusement park. (Wissam Nassar/Flash90)

The article acknowledges mainstream media’s focus on the misery in Gaza, but a visit there also reveals “a handful of new ­luxury-car dealerships, boutiques selling designer jeans and, coming soon to a hip downtown restaurant, “Sushi Nights.”

“This is the Gaza outside the war photographer’s frame, where families of the small, tough, aspirational middle class will splurge on a $140 seaside villa with generator power to give their kids a 20-hour staycation with a swimming pool and palm trees,” the article explains.

“I like to get out a night or two a month. You have to, if you can afford it. You have to live life, just a little bit, even in Gaza,” Samia Hillis, 33, told the Post.

The article goes on to describe the mundane, everyday life Gaza residents experience, just like anyone else.

Mohammad Migdad, a trainer at a luxurious gym that boasts some 500 members, told the Post: “We expend our energies here in sport instead of sitting around depressed or becoming extremists.”

Hamas Limits Middle Class Comforts

The population prefers more of this normal way of life, however, the writer points out, development is hindered by the Islamic Hamas terror organization, which rules Gaza and limits life on the street in accordance with Muslim Sharia law.

One of the issues cited in the article is the hefty tax Hamas collects on every item, which has made it the second-richest terror organization in the world, second only to the Islamic State (ISIS).

The article did mention that the situation in Gaza was in many instances is difficult, but it is of significance to remember that Hamas was democratically elected  in Gaza by a large majority. After ascending to power, the Post continues, the terror group launched “three fruitless wars with Israel in six years.”

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel

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