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article imageOp-Ed: Gaza strip wants referendum on joining Russia

By Ken Hanly     Mar 19, 2014 in World
Gaza - In what is probably a satire the Russian-language version of the Palestinian Information Center a Hamas website, reports that there is an initiative in the Gaza strip for the Gaza strip to hold a referendum on joining Russia.
Presumably this is meant as satire but these days one can never be sure as reality is often stranger than satire. The report from the site can be found here in Russian but Google offers to translate it for you.
The Gaza strip is a Palestinian enclave within Israel governed by Hamas. The group is listed by many as a terrorist organization and is not part of the peace negotiations with Israel. According to the report the initiative is being pushed by Russian nationals who live in Gaza said to number about 50,000 most being women who have married Palestinian men but still have Russian passports. These figures suggest that the report is satire or else whoever made up the numbers inflated them far beyond reality. Russian media reported in December of 2012 that there were fewer than 400 Russian passport holders in the Gaza Strip. A member of the group is quoted as saying: "Moscow has said it will defend Russians anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, we live in a place where Israel has threatened our lives and those of our children for years on end. But if the Gaza Strip joined Russia, we would also have a well-protected border, up-to-date weapons, perhaps, even nuclear weapons." Israel might resist the shipment of nuclear weapons to the Gaza strip I should think!
While the Gaza strip is some distance from Russia, the activists in Gaza point out that Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands are some way from the United Kingdom as well. The activists have no doubt that there would be a positive outcome to the referendum.
The Hamas leadership has been completely silent on the issue. Perhaps this is part of a plot. Tomorrow the Israelis will wake up to see Russian trucks with no licence plates patrolling Gaza borders and unidentified armed men on patrol but who speak Russian.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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