A Palestinian official says 520 Palestinian refugees have been killed by militias since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
The head of the refugee affairs department at the Palestine Liberation Organization, Zakaria al-Agha, said Wednesday a total of 809 Palestinians have been attacked, of which 520 were killed and 140 injured and maimed.
...Palestinians, all of whom are Sunni and perhaps a handful of Christians, have become a favorite target for government-backed Shiite militias since the U.S.-led forces toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in April 2003.
The attacks are generally regarded as acts of vengeance, not because the Palestinians are Sunni, but because the community supported Saddam's regime, which had provided the Palestinian refugees with free homes, an education and livelihoods in Iraq during its three-decade reign.
It is interesting that the PLO official continues to refer to these people as "Palestinian refugees" rather than the more accurate "Iraqi refugees of Palestinian origin," as they have lived there for generations, as ReliefWeb notes:
Although the violence in Iraq is so extreme that all civilians are at risk regardless of their religion or ethnicity, certain groups are particularly vulnerable. One such group is the Palestinians of Iraq. Many have been in Iraq since 1948, have children and grandchildren born there, and consider that country their permanent home. During Saddam Hussein's rule, Palestinians received special privileges. Palestinians were given subsidized housing, often to the detriment of Iraqis who were evicted or forced to rent their property to Palestinians free of charge.And then comes this beaut:
Perceived as loyal to Saddam Hussein and the Baath party, Palestinians are now targeted by all factions in Iraq. Their vulnerability is increased by the fact that they are stateless and have nowhere to go. Some have tried to flee the country and are now living in a no-man's land in between Syrian and Iraqi borders. UNHCR has unsuccessfully tried to negotiate their admission into an Arab country or resettle them.
Despite the sensitivities linked to the resettlement of Palestinians outside a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel, there is no other immediate solution for the Palestinians from Iraq. The UN estimates that around 15,000 remain in Iraq and are in imminent danger.Let's sum up:
- All Arabs in Iraq, not just Shiites, hate the Palestinian Arabs.
- Even though their situation is considered grave, their neighboring Arabs refuse to let them in.
- Palestinian Arabs who settle in other lands and become successful are still called "refugees."
- The idea of resettling Palestinian Arabs in other Arab lands, even when they are in dire need, is frowned upon because of "sensitivities."
The last two points, however, show that there is great political importance to keeping the idea of a "refugee" problem alive as long as possible.
Remember that Palestinian Arabs are the only group in history whose descendants are considered to be "refugees" as well. This is a purely political decision made by the UN, whose only purpose is to extend Palestinian Arab suffering as a means to pressure Israel.
And similarly, the very idea of moving Palestinian Arabs anywhere in the world besides Israel - even if the PalArabs themselves would want to do it themselves - is considered so "sensitive" to the political leaders of the Arab world that the psychology has been put into place that it is not even mentioned aloud as a possibility until there is a dire need.
When a few dozen Iraqi PalArabs were moved to Canada a couple of months ago, the political leadership was very upset - because helping individual Palestinian Arabs and making them happy is counterproductive to the "unity" of the "Palestinian people!"
Other Arabs hate Palestinian Arabs on a human, gut-level and will not lift a finger to truly help them. The money they send is used more for guns than butter. The Palestinian Arab leaders themselves have a vested interest in keeping Palestinian Arabs suffering.
And there is a huge portion of the world (including, as can be seen above, "human rights" organizations like ReliefWeb who will only consider resettling PalArabs when they are in imminent danger from non-Jews) that will do anything they can to keep Palestinian Arabs suffering just to be able to blame Israel for their problems.