Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon are under pressure to leave the country, according to Mousa Abu Marzouq, the head of the Hamas international relations bureau.
According to Marzouq, the reason why they are leaving is a direct result of Trump’s “Deal of the Century”. He claims that although the political aspect of the U.S. Mideast peace plan has not been officially revealed by the Trump administration, it’s objective to remove the Palestinian refugee problem from the peace plan is being felt in Lebanon.
UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) defines Palestinian refugees as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.” Furthermore, refugee status also applies to “the descendants of Palestine refugee males, including adopted children, are also eligible for registration,” says the agency.
These refugees are not eligible for citizenship in Lebanon, nor are they privileged to any political, social, or civil rights, adds UNRWA.
A report published by Amnesty International described “the appalling social and economic conditions of these refugees, most of whom live in war-torn camps. The discrimination and marginalization suffered by the Palestinian refugees contribute to high levels of unemployment, low wages, and poor working conditions,” said the human rights organization.
“The resultant poverty is exacerbated by restrictions placed on their access to state education and social services,” the report adds.
Data from UNRWA shows that approximately 450,000 Palestinian refugees currently live in Lebanon. However, a 2017 census that was conducted by Lebanon’s Central Administration of Statistics refutes this claim. The census found that roughly 175,000 Palestinian refugees were living in the country.