Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lebanon waters down bill to grant Palestinian Arabs basic human rights

From Ya Libnan:
Central News Agency (CNA) has reported that MP Walid Jumblatt has agreed to withdraw his bill, that grants Palestinians civil rights and allows them to buy property in Lebanon, in favor of a humanitarian bill that was worked out between al Mustqbal , March 14 Secretariat and and the Lebanese Forces that will grant the Palestinians the right to work in Lebanon.

The new humanitarian bill was formulated following discussions with Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir , former PM Fouad Siniora and Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel and was also approved by Speaker Nabih Berri and MP Michel Aoun.

MP Nuhad Mashnouk has been commuting between Jumblatt, Aoun and Berri to get consensus on the new bill.

During an interview with CNA Mashnouk said, "Wwe have reached consensus on a bill that will grant the Palestinians the right to work on condition that this action will not add any burden to the state of Lebanon (either through social security, subsidies or through any other funds)."

Mashnouk added ”The international community should bear some responsibility in this regard.”

Mashnouk also confirmed that discussions are ongoing between all the concerned groups over granting Palestinians the right to own property in Lebanon.
There was fierce opposition to the idea of Palestinian Arabs being able to purchase land in Lebanon.

One Lebanese MP noted on Friday, “It is shameful that Israel grants Palestinians their rights while Lebanon stands idly by.”

Yet even he was dead-set against the possibility of granting full citizenship rights to Palestinians.