Sunday, April 15, 2007

IRAQ: Palestinian refugees hold border protest

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

"BAGHDAD, 15 April 2007 (IRIN) - Hundreds of Palestinian refugees who are stranded on the Iraq-Syria border have staged an open sit-in since 12 April to draw international attention to what they say is their ongoing suffering.

“Our situation is getting worse from day to day, yet no one sees what we’re going through and helps us get through this ordeal,” Qussai Mohammed Saleh, a 32-year-old Palestinian refugee, told IRIN in a phone interview from al-Waleed border camp......

“It’s been raining cats and dogs for the past two days and the heavy rain has filled our tents with water. We demand that Arab and international leaders take an immediate decision about us. There’s only one goal for us and that’s to get out of Iraq as soon as possible without being hurt. We’ll continue with our sit-in until we achieve this goal.”.......

The killing and the raid prompted the United Nations Refugees Agency (UNHCR) to reiterate its calls to the Iraqi government to protect Palestinian refugees in Iraq. The agency also appealed to Arab governments to allow the Palestinians into their territories.

UNHCR said at least 186 Palestinians have been murdered in Baghdad between April 2004 and January 2007, while about 15,000 Palestinians remain in Iraq, fewer than half the number who had lived there previously. "

No comments: