Mousa Abu Marzouk, the top Hamas official in charge of foreign affairs, admitted earlier this week that “Palestinian refugees” in Lebanon are being encouraged and even pressured by local authorities to leave the country. As a result, lamented Marzouk, the number of Palestinians in Lebanon is beginning to decline.
These “Palestinian refugees” are Lebanese residents living with very limited civil rights. They are the descendants of the Arabs who left the territory of the British Mandate during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, having been encouraged to do so by Arab leaders confident of victory of the nascent Jewish state.
Lebanon has for decades refused to grant citizenship to these people, and insists that one day they will have to go back to their “old homeland.” The fact that more and more of these Palestinians are leaving Lebanon is not surprising. They are discriminated against in the job market, and some professions are even prohibited to them. Any who have the chance to emigrate to America or Europe take it without hesitation.
The situation of Palestinian refugees in other Arab states, such as Jordan or Syria, is not much better. Even there they have never been naturalized. Terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah increasingly concede that Palestinians are being exploited as pawns in the quest to destroy Israel.