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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Syrians still fleeing by the thousands; Palestinians pose a special problem

From Jordan Times:
A lull in violence in Syria has failed to slow the ongoing exodus of Syrians to Jordan, with over 3,000 refugees entering the Kingdom since the implementation of a UN-brokered ceasefire on Thursday, security sources and relief agencies say.

Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse reported that France said on Friday it was considering sending aid for Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Reuters reported from Istanbul that Jordan and Turkey discussed accepting international aid to help share the cost of caring for the displaced Syrians.

According to a security source stationed in the border region, over 2,500 Syrians crossed into the Kingdom illegally between early Thursday and late Friday, marking one of the largest influxes of refugees into the Kingdom since Damascus’ launch of a military crackdown on peaceful protesters in March 2011.

Local charitable societies say they have witnessed a spike in new arrivals since the start of a fragile ceasefire on Thursday, with Al Kitab and Sunna Society reporting the arrival of 1,000 refugees on Saturday alone, which places an increased burden on relief agencies and security forces.

“Thousands of Syrians entered the country illegally over the last three days, and we only expect this number to increase,” Ziad Hamad, director of Al Kitab and Sunna Society, told The Jordan Times.

“We thought the ceasefire would lead to a drop in the number of refugees but we are seeing the opposite.”

According to Syrian activists, some 400 additional families are currently camped out in the border region, holding out hope that the drop in violence will encourage Damascus to reverse a month-old ban on civilians travelling to Jordan.

The majority of new arrivals hail from Homs and Daraa, which activists claim continue to be under military siege despite Damascus’ pledges to withdraw military forces from residential areas.

“The regime is not upholding its end of the ceasefire and more and more people are left with no option but to flee,” said Ahmed, a Syrian opposition activist residing in Amman who did not wish to use his real name.

Several army defectors and officers were among this weekend’s influx of Syrians, who, according to a security source, were transferred to a military-guarded compound outside Mafraq dedicated to former members of the Syrian armed forces.
The Jordan Times is not talking about the Palestinian Syrians, though. Jordan is considering treating their Palestinian Syrian refugees differently from the others, as I reported last week.

Arab News reports the situation in a beautiful example of doublethink:
The brutal Syrian regime’s bloody crackdown on the protesters, who have been taking to street to get rid of the autocratic regime, has not only inflicted unacceptable toll on the Syrian people but has also triggered a new wave of Palestinian refugees.

It is the destiny of those refugees to live in a permanent state of refuge. Palestinian refugees in Syrian are estimated to be 480,000.

With the continued influx of refugees from Syria, Jordan was alerted that the many refugees entering the country from Syria were in fact Palestinians.

It is worth mentioning that Jordan hosts some two millions Palestinians refugees and several hundred displaced. Therefore, receiving a new wave of refugees is a source of concerns in Amman.

But given the delicate demographic balance in Jordan, Jordanians are sensitive toward having new Palestinians refugees. There is a strong political current in Jordan that oppose resettling the Palestinians in Jordan calling for them to be given the opportunity to practice their right of return.

Against this, Amman cannot afford to be seen as encouraging the settlement of Palestinian refugees outside Palestine. For Jordan, the problem of dealing with Syrian refugees is complex as a considerable percentage of the refugees are Palestinians.

Sources from the Jordanian Ministry of Interior say that Jordan is considering establishing a buffer zone to place Palestinians refugees.

It seems logical for those Palestinian refugees to seek shelter and protection in sympathizing countries next door. Therefore, Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon seem ideal destinations for refugees.
Notice how the Arab News is pretending that the institutionalized discrimination that Palestinian Arabs receive at the hand of every Arab government is natural and even praiseworthy, when in fact it is nothing less than the cynical use of Palestinian Arabs as political pawns against Israel.

No moonbats are making weepy folk songs about their plight. Alas, that job is up to me to tell the truth about how Arabs treat their Palestinian brethren.