Lebanon’s closed doors for Palestinian refugees

IPS reports: Tens of thousands of Palestinians living in Syria have been uprooted since the violent government crackdown on the uprising and the ensuing battles that ensnared their communities. For around 50,000 of them, Lebanon was their only safe route out but now it seems this door is being closed on them.

The family of 19-year-old Iyad was exiled from Palestine in 1948 upon creation of the state of Israel and fled to Yarmouk camp in Damascus, Syria, where they settled but violence and war have once again uprooted their community. Iyad now finds himself on the run from Syria, but his security in Lebanon is far from assured.

Having fled to Lebanon in December last year, Iyad was intent on traveling onto Libya and from there to make the perilous journey to the now renowned Italian island of Lampedusa. However, last month his plans were thwarted when the Lebanese security services detained him, along with 48 other young Palestinian men, as they tried to leave Lebanon through Rafiq Hariri airport in Beirut. [Continue reading…]

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