Palestinians in Iraqi No Manís Land; Part 2 - 07.23.2007

The Palestinian citizens now trapped in Al-Waleed Camp accuse the Palestinian Authority of using their suffering to play political games with Israel. The Palestinian Authority announced that it would accept its citizens back in the West Bank.

As the situation worsens, there is no immediate prospect of a solution. The only proposal thus far, an offer by the Palestinian Authority to take in the refugees, was rejected by Israel.

However, the refugees express the feeling that the situation is not as simplistic as it seems. They claim that other states, particularly in Europe, have since expressed willingness to resettle them, but that the PA refuses to accept these solutions, preferring to leave their citizens in the desert, pawns in a political game with Israel.

This editorial in Haaretz provides good background on the plight of the Palestinians in refugee camps on the borders of Syria and Jordan. Some of those refugees have since been provided resettlement options in Brazil. Given that development, and the lack of evidence of any other recent offers of resettlement, AiB could not verify the accuracy of these claims. Another overview of the situation, prior to April 2007, can be read in Z Magazine.

The Palestinian Authority’s potential complicity aside, it is also clear that the international community is still incapable of dealing with the small number of Palestinian refugees, much less the millions of Iraqis, displaced by the war. The Palestinians are finding great suffering in the camp, not only from the harsh weather, but also due to a lack of adequate water, food, and other necessities. As if their situation wasn’t difficult enough, Palestinians and other refugees from Iraq are now being demonized with the possibility they might be a “regional security threat.”

Nowhere else will you hear the stories of Palestinian refugees from Iraq, from them directly. As we have expanded our staff and renewed our work to bring compelling stories from Iraq, that can be found nowhere else, we need you to keep supporting our work. Please make a donation today, tell your friends, and if you might know of a sponsor or other source of ongoing funding for Alive in Baghdad, please contact us!

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