Strangers help Gazans raise money on social media to flee war

Strangers help Gazans raise money on social media to flee war
Photo: Nuseirat Refugee Camp, Deir al-Balah April 2024 / Source: UNRWA/Ashraf Amra

After over six months of Israel's Gaza offensive, resulting in more than 34,000 Palestinian deaths and widespread destruction, Gazans are seeking aid on social media and crowdfunding sites to flee to Egypt. They are supported by a rising number of foreign donors.

The cost to enter Egypt through Rafah has ballooned during the war. Travel agencies and black-market middlemen reportedly charge up to $7000 per person to expedite the process. 

The most popular platform is GoFundMe. According to NBC there is currently more than 12,000 active campaigns for Palestinians in Gaza. Since October 7th, they have raised over $75 million, according to a company spokesperson. 

Individuals in the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, the U.K., and other places are funding families they’ve never met. 

Many Palestinians are using Instagram and TikTok to raise awareness about their individual struggles, directing attention to their fundraising efforts. International organizations have emerged to spotlight and verify campaigns to prevent fraud.

According to the Palestinian ambassador to Cairo, around 100,000 Palestinians have entered Egypt since the conflict began.  Over a million remain in refugee camps on the other side of the border. 

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