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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Life in Lebanon "horrible" for fleeing Syrian Palestinians

From Reuters:
Palestinian refugees who fled Syria's war to neighboring Lebanon are living up to 20 in a room with no water, fresh air or electricity, the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said Tuesday.

Donors needed to do more to help at least 20,000 Palestinians who have already come in from Syria and more than 200 who join them every day to endure "horrible" conditions, UN Relief and Works Agency chief Filippo Grandi told Reuters.

He had toured the Shatila Palestinian camp and found "the conditions were horrible" for new arrivals.

"The main problem they have is accommodation. They rent small, cramped, very unsanitary premises without running water, without ventilation, without electricity," he said.

"And sometimes you see rooms in which 12, 15, 20 people live in really substandard conditions." He met one family living in a dark room with only one candle. "I couldn't see who I was speaking to," Grandi said.

Some politicians fear an influx of majority Sunni Muslim Syrians and Palestinians will tip the demographic balance of a country that is still reeling from its own 15-year civil war. More than 400,000 Palestinian refugees already live in Lebanon.

Grandi said Jordan, which already hosts 2 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants from the Arab-Israeli wars, was turning back Palestinian refugees from Syria, though he did not have figures.

Jordan has said it cannot take in more Palestinian refugees.

"I understand the sensitivity of the issue for the Jordanian authorities," Grandi said.

"I would like to appeal to (Jordan) to exercise all humanitarian considerations when Palestinian refugees ask to be admitted to Jordanian territory from Syria," he added.
It is funny how UNRWA is so understanding of Arab nations mistreating Palestinian Arabs. You never hear the UN or the EU condemn Arabs for specifically discriminating against Palestinians.

They save their condemnations for another target.

By the way, three Palestinian Arabs - including a child - were killed today in Syria. It was in all the headlines, wasn't it?