One hundred and forty Palestinian refugees who fled Iraq to Syria left that country for Norway this week, where they were granted asylum.The UNHCR moves these Arab refugees from Iraq, of Palestinian ancestry, to countries where they will be welcomed and become normal citizens.
The Palestinians were living in three refugee camps: Al-Walid camp, on the Iraqi side of the Syrian border which houses 1,549 refugees; Al-Tanf camp, also located on the border and home to 747 refugees; Al-Hol camp, in Syrian territory and houses 331 Palestinian refugees.
In a statement, the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria called on “the Syrian and the Jordanian governments to allow the entry of Palestinian refugees from Iraq and asked for their protection from persecution, and respect and protection for their human rights.”
In July, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said it planned to move 98 Palestinians from Syria to a temporary “transit camp” in Slovakia.
Romania opened a similar camp last year, and the US, Chile, and several European countries have taken in many of the thousands of Palestinians who were stranded after the start of the US-led occupation of Iraq in 2003.
And none of those countries are Arab.
The only "Palestinian refugees" that exist in Arab countries are the ones who cannot become citizens and that fall under the control of UNRWA, not UNHCR. Because UNRWA happily allows Arab countries to practice discrimination against Palestinian Arabs, and it happily goes along with their keeping them stateless and often homeless. It does not make an attempt anymore to move the grandchildren of the refugees out of "refugee" camps and into real houses. It doesn't chide Lebanon for limiting the types of jobs Arabs of Palestinian origin can have or for not allowing them to buy land. UNRWA is happy to define children and grandchildren and great-granchildren of Palestinian Arabs as "refugees" (of course, they explicitly exclude the Palestinian Jews who were forced to move out of Gush Etzion and east Jerusalem from being considered "Palestinian refugees.")
UNHCR tries to make the refugee problem go away. UNRWA is invested in keeping the problem going forever.
And as such, they are partners with the Palestinian Arab leadership who have enshrined their own desire to keep people in camps forever in the Fatah platform I mentioned yesterday:
The [Fatah] Movement believes in the need to preserve the camp[s], [which are] a key symbol to the political refugees who have been deprived from returning to their homes until a solution to their cause, and the need to adhere to the administration of an international relief agency [UNRWA] and a recognition of the cause of refugees until they return to their homes and their country.See? Everyone agrees that Palestinian Arabs should be in misery! Arab leaders enforce it, the PLO/Fatah enshrines it, and the UNRWA perpetuates it.
The only people who disagree are the Palestinian Arabs themselves.