All You Need To Know About Lebanon’s Love Of Palestinians

Quite simply, they don’t.

Photograph: Jerry Lampen/Reuters

Photograph: Jerry Lampen/Reuters

Lebanon’s General Security department has forcibly deported 41 Palestinian refugees back to Syria, despite the fact that they had entered the country legally.

The move on May 4 ran counter to an earlier decision by the Lebanese government to not deport any refugee back to Syria under any circumstances. Lebanese authorities pointed out that the arrests and the following deportation was due to the fact that the detainees held forged visas to Libya. After long hours of interrogation at Beirut International Airport, a decision was made to deport the group.

Human rights activists argue that the move was not an isolated incident, but rather is part of a larger campaign by the Lebanese government targeting Palestinian refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict, who now number 50,000 in Lebanon.

“This has been an ongoing campaign against Palestinians from Syria fleeing to Lebanon,” Metwali Abu Nasser, a journalist and scriptwriter who fled Yarmouk camp last year, told Al Jazeera.

Abu Nasser explained that the deportation of Palestinian refugees “should be seen in light of the harsh practises the Lebanese government deploys against Palestinians, whether it is those who are residents of Lebanon or those fleeing from Syria”.

Repeated attempts by Al Jazeera to contact the Lebanese government for a statement were unanswered.

In a report issued by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday, Joe Stork, deputy director of HRW’s Middle East and North Africa division, wrote that “the Lebanese government is bearing an incomparable burden with the Syrian refugees crossing its borders, but blocking Palestinians from Syria is mishandling the situation”.

“Palestinians are among the most vulnerable people in the Syria conflict, and like Syrian nationals are at risk of both generalised violence and targeted attacks,” Stork’s statement read.

Abdelrahman, 26, a Palestinian refugee who fled Syria 18 months ago and now resides in Shatila Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, told Al Jazeera: “When we, Palestinians from Syria, enter Lebanon as refugees, we are treated at the border as if we were coming for tourism.”

Upon arrival from Syria, Palestinians crossing the border are made to pay a 25,000LL ($17) entry fee, which is only valid for a one week stay. The Lebanese General Security charges 350,000 LL ($230) per person for a residency permit that is subject to renewal every three months.

“Palestinians who do not have money to pay for steep renewal fees of their residency are forced to return to Syria, or stay and risk being arrested.”

And Lebanon is not alone. What it boils down to is the fact the Arab and Muslim states hate Israel more than they love palestinians. The very existence of refugee camps after close to 60 years – a disgraceful situation – is a testament to this.

In the meantime, Israel has not only absorbed Jews wanting to emigrate, but has even gone to great lengths to actively bring in Jews suffering persecution in their countries of residence.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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  • Norman_In_New_York

    Heck, even the Palestinian Authority hates Palestinians and blocks those fleeing Syria from entering their supposed homeland.

    Meanwhile, one of my business clients recently returned from Israel after spending Passover there and told me that newly arriving French olim are already making their presence felt.

    • Art Deco

      You mean more interesting cheeses are for sale in Tel Aviv? And Gauloises?

      • Norman_In_New_York

        He heard a lot of French being spoken. Time will tell if Israel becomes a center of fine wine (not that their current product is bad), haute couture, and hairsplitting philosophy.

        • Art Deco

          French spoken is a thing of beauty, so always and agreeable addition. What you really want, though, is the grub. Cheese, pastry, and coffee to be shared with handsome and charming Israeli women…

  • Hard Little Machine

    Not gonna care about them more than anyone else does.

    • Art Deco

      It’s not that. It’s that systematized caring does little good in this case, because it’s fuel for a most unconstructive project.

  • http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/987/5660/original.jpg AegysLTS

    Even Europe is getting tired of them…

  • Art Deco

    What it boils down to is the fact the Arab and Muslim states hate Israel more than they love palestinians.

    Must disagree. What it boils down to is that you generally do not acquire a critical mass of soi-disant ‘palestinians’ without acquiring their mob-boss politicians, bloodthirsty adolescents, and ululating hags. Kuwait during the period running from 1949 to 1990 was the odd exception to this rule. The capacity of the gangbanger element to injure the quality of life here, there, and the next place got the gangbangers run out of Jordan in September 1970 from whence they decamped to Lebanon and trashed the place.

    In fairness to those of considerable pedigree in the West Bank and Gaza, Yasir Arafat grew up in Egypt, as did Edward Said (who spoke flawless Egyptian vernacular per witnesses).

  • Ron Barak

    Seems it’s not possible to watch the Al Jazeera video from a USA IP address.

    If you get the below message (https://www.diigo.com/item/p/oooepprzcbbaaqcbezbdpcrqqs), you may want to change your proxy settings to point to another country, like Israel or Australia (e.g., by using a service like http://hola.org/referral_signup?referrer_uid=basic%2Fhola.comverse%409ox.net&ref=footer&medium=manual)

Israellycool is testing Sovevos. Click for more info.