Underfunded, living in illegal camps and turned away from Arab and Israeli borders — the lot of the Palestinian grows ever more dire.
In the Palestinian territories, a Western aid boycott against the Hamas government has led to a strike last week by tens of thousands of government workers who haven’t been fully paid since the Islamists came to power.
In Syria, Palestinians refugees from Iraq have been held at the border in a camp with only one doctor, and little shelter from winter floods and summer heat.
Other refugees from Iraq are permitted free entry to Syria, but the U.N. news service reports that Syrians feel they already have “enough” Palestinians.
In Lebanon, Palestinian refugees make up some 10 percent of the population, and about a quarter-million live in unregistered camps.
Some have been there since 1948, but they are considered foreigners, and are prohibited from working in dozens of professions.
Environmental, medical, educational and other services are provided by a nonprofit agency supported by international charities, rather than the Lebanese government.
“Palestinians refugees despair after year marooned between Iraq and Syria”
IRIN (United Nations), May 3, 2007
“Palestinian workers strike over half pay”
Reuters May 3, 2007
“Refugees learn to substitute government”
Inter Press Service, May 2, 2007