Home PodcastJulie Alli South African-Palestinian Couple Separated Amid Evacuation from Gaza

South African-Palestinian Couple Separated Amid Evacuation from Gaza

by Thaabit Kamaar


Gaza – Since the start of the war in Gaza and for a period between, numerous foreign nationals, including Palestinians holding dual citizenship, were allowed to evacuate the war-torn region and enter Egypt. While some Palestinians were granted permission to leave due to their dual national status, others were denied this opportunity by Israeli officials.

Among those not permitted to leave was Ashraf Skaik, a SAAD Association executive and married to Angela Skaik from South Africa. In an interview with Salaamedia, he disclosed that, despite their legal marriage, he was excluded from the list of individuals authorised to depart Gaza. 

Ashraf suspects that the reason for his exclusion was linked to his wife’s South African citizenship. Consequently, he had to endure the hardships of the ongoing conflict and the scarcity of resources alongside hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinian refugees in Rafah. 

This assertion aligns with other claims suggesting that South African citizens have faced discrimination since their country exposed Israeli crimes at the Hague. Ashraf believes that the Israeli Defense Forces (IOF) may be punishing them in response to these revelations.

“I have a legal marriage contract with my wife Angela. But what happened because brave South Africa, the best country that supports Palestine, is fighting for humanity, they took my name out from the [evacuation] list as a Palestinian. They are dealing with South Africa unjustly, and they’re punishing you. They are punishing me because I’m Palestinian and I’m married to a South African.” 

Nevertheless, despite Ashraf’s unfortunate predicament, he continues to commend South Africa for standing as a steadfast ally to the Palestinians and for valuing their cause against Israel in the highest esteem.

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Palestinians Sharing the Little Resources They Have

With each passing hour of this ongoing genocide in Gaza, the plight of the Palestinians worsens. Deliberate efforts to starve them are evident, leading countries to resort to air-dropping aid as trucks face obstruction.

At present, children are succumbing either to malnutrition or becoming victims of target practice by the IOF. Israel persists in killing starving Palestinians while denying their actions to the global community.

Despite the severe food shortages, Palestinians are resiliently supporting each other. Ashraf mentioned establishing a system to share whatever meagre resources they possess, including food and water.

“With the simple stuff of what we have, we have to maximise it to benefit the people who are living in Rafah. We also try to do something for these people facing hunger, no water, no place to live and no medical service … The people have big needs, but what we have is a little.”

While this might provide temporary relief from their suffering, the decline in their well-being will persist until a ceasefire is brokered and Israel complies with the rulings of the Hague.


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