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Cablegate: Palestinian Emigration On the Rise

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJMA #4769 3131300
ZNR UUUUU ZZH ZUI RUEWMCF1162 3131255
O 091300Z NOV 06
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0000
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 004769

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/IPA FOR
WILLIAMS/SHAMPAINE/STEINGER; PRM FOR PDAS GREENE AND
PRM/ANE; NSC FOR ABRAMS/DORAN/WATERS; TREASURY FOR
SZUBIN/LOEFFLER/NUGENT/HIRSON; BRUSSELS FOR LERNER; PLEASE
PASS TO USAID FOR KUNDER/MCCLOUD/BORODIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON EFIN KPAL KWBG PGOV QM
SUBJECT: PALESTINIAN EMIGRATION ON THE RISE


1. (SBU) THE PALESTINIAN DIASPORA AND REFUGEE CENTER (SHAML)
ANNOUNCED AT AN OCTOBER 31 PRESS CONFERENCE THAT THE
POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SITUATION IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA IS
CONTRIBUTING TO A MARKED INCREASE IN PALESTINIAN EMIGRATION.
ACCORDING TO SHAML, FOREIGN DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS HAVE APPROVED
10,000 IMMIGRATION APPLICATIONS SINCE JUNE 2006 AND AN
ADDITIONAL 45,000 IMMIGRATION APPLICATIONS ARE UNDER
CONSIDERATION.

2. (SBU) PA DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AHMED SOBOH,
SPEAKING AT THE SAME PRESS CONFERENCE IN RAMALLAH, COMPLAINED
THAT NO ONE IS CONCENTRATING ON THE EXODUS OF PALESTINIANS,
PARTICULARLY THE DEPARTURE OF PROFESSIONALS, INVESTORS AND
BUSINESSMEN. SOBOH SAID THAT NON-PAYMENT OF SALARIES IS ALSO
PROMPTING PA EMPLOYEES TO LEAVE. HE ASSERTED THAT THERE HAS
BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF PALESTINIANS WITH
UNIVERSITY DEGREES DEPARTING TO PURSUE CAREERS IN MORE STABLE
COUNTRIES. SOBOH ADDED THAT ISRAEL'S PRACTICE OF DENYING
RE-ENTRY TO MANY PALESTINIANS WHO CARRY FOREIGN PASSPORTS IS
ALSO DISCOURAGING PALESTINIANS WHO HAD RETURNED IN THE PAST
DECADE FROM STAYING. HE STATED THAT BETWEEN 1994-2000 ABOUT
235,000 PALESTINIANS RETURNED TO THE WEST BANK AND GAZA, BUT
SUGGESTED THAT THE TREND IS NOW IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

3. (SBU) A BIRZEIT UNIVERSITY POLL PUBLISHED IN SEPTEMBER
2006 CONCLUDED THAT 32 PERCENT OF PALESTINIANS WISH TO
EMIGRATE. AMONG PALESTINIANS IN THEIR 20S AND 30S, THE
PERCENTAGE INTERESTED IN RELOCATING ROSE TO 44 PERCENT; AMONG
YOUNG MEN 50 PERCENT.

WALLES

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