Palestinian refugees in Iraq between displacement and deprivation

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The dire situation of Palestinian refugees in Iraq is dramatically worsening amidst official silence, while hostilities are still taking place against them as part of a plan that aims to “displace them on the one hand, and deprive them of their rights on the other.”

Chairman of the Association of Palestinians in Iraq, Thamir Mushinish, asserted to the Palestinian Information Center that what is happening in Iraq against the Palestinians comes as part of a systematic policy of attacks and unprecedented violations.

Mushinish warned of the dangers of the escalating displacement of Palestinian refugees in Iraq, pointing out that “the numbers of Palestinian refugees dropped down significantly to 4,000 out of 40,000 who were residing in Iraq.”

The expert on Palestinians in Iraq pointed out that since the US occupation of Iraq “Shiite militias began targeting Sunnis in general, and Palestinians in particular,” noting that 150 Palestinian families are still living in Mosul, while 120 others are still living in Baharka camp in Erbil, and they suffer the bombing and aggression and siege.

Forms of abuse
Mushinish indicated that the attacks on Palestinian refugees vary from kidnapping to threats and sometimes amounting to murder, as happened recently with the refugee Abu Nar, “who had business to do at a governmental department in Baghdad and he disappeared from that moment. Two days later his family discovered that he was killed at the hands of government forces”.

He pointed out that more than 30 Palestinians were kidnapped and are still missing, with no charges against them, adding that Palestinians are being held to blackmail their families into paying money in return for their release.

The refugees’ future
The Palestinian expert warned that the future of the Palestinians in Iraq might witness displacement on the one hand or “dissolving those who remain in the Iraqi Shiite society to protect themselves on the other”.

He noted that a number of Palestinian families have forcibly begun “identifying with the Shiite customs and traditions to protect themselves from the brutality of the attacks.”

Mushinish championed a firm and serious Palestinian stance to protect the remaining refugees in Iraq and demand granting them their legitimate rights including the right to live in dignity.

He concluded that the majority of Palestinian refugees in Iraq migrated to Turkey and Thailand and suffered a lot of problems “and some have experienced imprisonment for violating residence regulations”, while some others migrated to Indonesia and Malaysia.

(Source / 05.12.2016)

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