The New Palestinian Intifada—In Lebanon

July 19, 2019

by: Pinhas Inbari

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Shatila refugee camp for Palestinians in southern Beirut, Lebanon

Friday, 19 July 2019 | The Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have erupted in a new kind of intifada [uprising]: demanding integration in Lebanon. The trigger for the turmoil among the refugees was the Lebanese Ministry of Labor actions against foreign laborers in the state, including the Palestinians, who, even after all the years that have passed, are still considered guests and cannot receive work permits.

The Syrian crisis caused a deep demographic change in Lebanon after one million Sunni Syrians flooded the country, including many Palestinians from the Syrian camps. The change has introduced many radical elements and reinforced various Al-Qaeda groups in the camps in Lebanon. Lebanon doesn’t want them to set down roots in the country.

Now, along comes President Trump with his plan negating the “right of return,” and Lebanon is signaling that it doesn’t approve. The Palestinians are signaling that they specifically want to be absorbed into Lebanon, and they don’t believe the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] slogans of the right of return—“aliyah” [immigration]—to Palestine.

Generally, the crisis in Syria cut the Palestinians off from the PLO that was unconcerned about them. [Almost 4,000 Palestinian men, women, and children were killed in the civil war.] The Palestinians formed ad hoc groups to represent and care for themselves. No refugee from Syria wants to go to Palestine; they all want to go to Turkey and beyond to Europe.

Posted on July 19, 2019

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on July 17, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: French Institute of the Near East/