Friday, September 18, 2015

  • Friday, September 18, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Aaron Magid writing for Ma'an:
Born in Jordan, 27-year-old Muhammad’s life hardly resembles a typical Jordanian's. Lacking any political or civil rights, Muhammad explained that he is forbidden from working in most jobs, even a teacher at a public school. Muhammad faces these rigorous restrictions because his parents fled to Jordan from Gaza following the 1967 War.

“Compared to other Jordanian citizens, I am nothing,” explained Muhammad, who declined to provide his last name. Sadly, Muhammad’s predicament is not unique. Approximately 140,000 Palestinian refugees from Gaza live in a similar limbo as Muhammad in Jordan: denied most rights and often forced into a life of harsh poverty.

Nearly 2.1 million Palestinian refugees live in Jordan. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, 350,000 Palestinians fled to Jordan with the majority moving to the West Bank, then controlled by the Hashemite Kingdom. The Nationality Law of 1954 provided Palestinian residents of the West Bank with full Jordanian citizenship after King Abdullah I annexed the West Bank on April 24, 1950. However, when the new wave of Palestinian refugees arrived in Jordan escaping from Gaza in the 1967 War, Amman treated them differently than their West Bank countrymen, refusing to provide them with Jordanian nationality or civil rights.

...According to an extensive report sponsored by the European Commission and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Palestinian refugees from Gaza are three times more likely to suffer from dire poverty living on less than $1.25 per day.

In addition to the economic restrictions, refugees from Gaza enjoy no political rights. Unlike Palestinian refugees from the West Bank in 1948, 1967 refugees from Gaza cannot vote in Jordanian elections or serve in the parliament. Gazan refugees are provided with a two-year temporary passport, without a national number.
By the way - these Gazans in Jordan are not refugees by any definition. They left Gaza voluntarily after the Six Day War simply because they didn't want to live under Jewish rule. They were not expelled, their villages were not destroyed, and they were not fleeing for fear of persecution (except for those who had terror ties.)

What I don't know is why they cannot move back to Gaza. Israel couldn't stop them if they go through Egypt, but I don't know if Jordan would allow them to go to Egypt or if Egypt would allow them in to begin with.

Jordan also bars Syrian refugees of Palestinian origin from entering the country.

Interestingly, some Syrian refugees have moved into Gaza through the remaining smuggling tunnels.



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