Admit Palestinian refugees, urges UN

The UN refugee agency has called on Middle Eastern nations to admit more than 400 Palestinian refugees who were forced from their homes in Iraq.

    More than 400 people live in refugee camps in eastern Jordan

    The 427 men, women and children have been living in refugee camps in eastern Jordan but their situation is deteriorating as winter approaches, said Kris Janowski, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. 

    "While we are trying to ready these sites for the rigors of the winter cold and winds, the refugees will remain sheltered under canvas tents and will have to rely on simple cooking and heating stoves for warmth," he told reporters. 

    The UNHCR has estimated that thousands of Palestinians were evicted from their homes in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.  

    Jordan's capacity

    In August, Jordan agreed to accept 386 refugees who had Jordanian spouses, but a solution still has to be found for the rest. Janowski said other countries in the region should help. 

    "Jordan's capacity to absorb more refugees is reaching its limits, as it already hosts the world's largest group of Palestinian refugees," he said.

    UN is calling on Arabs to share  
    refugees burden with Jordan 

    "It is vital that other Arab and non-Arab countries share the burden by offering them temporary residency until a more durable solution is found." 

    Janowski said none of the refugees wanted to return to Iraq, and UNHCR felt that Iraq was "not conducive for return." Many of the refugees said they were prepared to go to the West Bank or Gaza. 

    "Return to Israel as well as to the West Bank and Gaza Strip should be considered as part of a comprehensive solution," he said. "UNHCR stands ready to discuss this with Israel and the Palestinian Authority." 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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