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article imagePalestinian Syrians denied refuge in Lebanon

By Ben Morris     Jul 2, 2014 in World
Beirut - As Palestinian-Syrian refugees try to escaped their warn torn country, they try to find refuge in a safer land. A new report by Amnesty International shows Lebanon is barring the refugees from entering the country.
The life of Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria is rough inside Lebanon. Estimates calculated by the United Nations' Relief and Works Agency, claim over 53,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria have entered Lebanon, (As of April). Those refugees faced rough conditions when they reached the country, which included the lack of housing and the failure of the Lebanese government to build more refugee camps. According to UNRWA, Lebanon operated just 12 camps, "which suffered from high rates of poverty and overcrowding even before the influx."
The refusal to build more suitable camps is not the only claim made by the agency. UNRWA criticized the Lebanese government for forcing refugees back into Syria, which is against International law. The laws of nonrefoulement, ban governments from returning refugees and asylum seekers back to the country they have fled if their lives or freedom are at risk. According to Joe Stork deputy Middle East and North Africa director, at Human Rights Watch, “Palestinians are among the most vulnerable people in the Syria conflict, and like Syrian nationals are at risk of both generalized violence and targeted attacks.”
In Amnesty International's report, a leaked document contains evidence that the act of refusing the refugees is political. The document obtained by Amnesty suggests security services have instructed airlines using Beirut's airport to not transport any Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria. The new refugee laws have also drawn the ire of international human rights organizations. The Lebanese government stipulates refugees must possess documents like an entry visa approved by government in order for the refugees to enter Syria.
The situation for all Syrians seeking an escape from the war torn land is dire. Around 2.5 million have fled to seek comfort in Europe and the Middle East, while more than 6 million still reside in Syria, displaced from their homes. The refugees who escape the country, do so at night to evade snipers and pro government forces who kidnap men to fight for the regime, but for Palestinians the problems are exacerbated.
Syrian's of Palestinian descent have argued they have more difficulty entering countries like Turkey as compared to Syrian nationals. Those difficulties prevented the mother of newborn children being denied re-entry into Lebanon to stay with her family.
The actions by the Lebanese government, according to Amnesty International's Sherif Elsayed-Ali "are only the most recent example of policies that discriminate against Palestinian refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria.”
More about syrian conflict, Refugees, Palestinians
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