Why isn’t this on front page of every Arab newspaper?

The forgotten generations: Palestinian refugees in Iraq. The family has never visited Palestine. CLAIRE THOMAS/ AL JAZEERAT

Palestinians have been stripped of their rights and no one is reporting it.

Why isn’t this on the front page of every Arab newspaper?

Why is the UN silent?

Where is the condemnation from all the anti-Israel activists?

Why the silence?

Maybe it is because…

…the Israelis treat the Palestinians far better than their fellow Muslims and the country stripping the Palestinian Arabs of their rights is not Israel but Iraq.

The Iraqi government passed a law depriving Palestinians in the country of their basic rights, which raised questions about the timing that coincided with growing US and Israeli pressure to stop funding the UNRWA.

The Arabi21 news website revealed Dec. 20 that Iraqi President Fuad Masum had approved Law No. 76 of 2017, which stripped Palestinian refugees living in Iraq of their rights and classified them as foreigners. The law came into effect after being published in the Iraqi Gazette.

The new law replaced Law No. 202 of 2001, issued by former President Saddam Hussein, forcing the Iraqi state to treat Palestinians as equals to Iraqis, with all privileges and citizenship rights, such as tax exemption, opportunities to work in government departments, and access to education and health care services.

Mohammed Mshenesh, a Palestinian researcher on refugee affairs, told Al-Monitor, “The most important issue with the new law is that it replaces the previous one that stipulated treating Palestinians as Iraqis. This is why Palestinians are worried about the future of those in Iraq who were already marginalized regardless of the law protecting them, which has now been quashed.”

Mshenesh added, “The new law will deprive Palestinian engineers, doctors and teachers the ability to become members of Iraqi trade unions,” thus preventing them from practicing these professions, “and whoever wants to start a commercial project will have to comply with the foreigners law, which requires the presence of an Iraqi sponsor and the approval of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Interior. This will increase the Palestinians’ suffering and push the few left to leave Iraq.”

[…] roughly 43,000 Palestinians resided in Iraq since they arrived as refugees in 1948; their numbers decreased as they were targeted, killed […] The legal status of Palestinian refugees in Iraq is not clear.[…]

Ihsan Adel, a legal adviser to the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, told Al-Monitor, “This new Iraqi law has a political background and it should have been the subject of discussion between the concerned authorities such as the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations. Palestinians have been in Iraq for decades, and their legal situation has been altered in virtue of policies adopted by successive governments.”

[…]Iraqi governments have treated them as undesirable guests […] The new law will have a harsh impact on them. They do not have Iraqi passports, but rather refugee travel documents that does not make it easy for them to travel.”

[…] The Palestinian factions denounced the Iraqi law.

On Dec. 25, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine expressed its deepest regret that the law would deprive the Palestinians in Iraq of their human rights, especially of permanent residency, […]

Taysir Khaled, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, called Dec. 23 on the Iraqi parliament and government to withdraw their approval of the law because it represents a serious violation of the rights granted by the Iraqi government to Palestinians in Iraq 70 years ago.[…]

[…] they are marginalized because of their sect; those parties are against Sunni Muslims, especially since Iraq is known for its Shiite majority.”

[…] “The Iraqi law ends the permanent residency of Palestinians in Iraq […]


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