With mere weeks before retirement, Abbas finally seeks to aid Palestinian refugees

 

After years of saying “No”  PA president Abbas now calls on UN to demand that Israel allows over half a million desperate Palestinian refugees take shelter in Judea & Samaria, while opposition leader Herzog calls on Netanyahu to take in Syrian refugees.

By AFP

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on the United Nations Saturday to press Israel to allow Palestinians from refugee camps in Syria to take shelter in the Palestinian territories, whose external borders are controlled by the Jewish state.

Palestinian refugee camp in Yarmouk, Syria – Photo: EPA

“President Abbas has asked the Palestinian representative to the UN to implement as quickly as possible, in coordination with the UN secretary general, measures for the return of Palestinian refugees from Syria to the Palestinian territories,” his office said.

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The UN says there are more than 525,000 Palestinian refugees at its camps in Syria, many of whom have been displaced by the civil war there.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) called Saturday for Israel to take in Syrian refugees, recalling the plight of Jews who sought refuge from past conflicts.

“Our people has experienced first-hand the silence of the world and cannot be indifferent in the face of the murder and massacre raging in Syria,” Herzog posted on his Facebook page.

Speaking at a panel discussion in Tel Aviv, he called on the government “to act toward receiving refugees from the war in Syria, in addition to the humanitarian efforts it is already making.”

Syrian refugees arriving at the island of Kos in Greece – Photo: Reuters

Israel has long been treating wounded Syrians who reach Israeli lines on the Golan Heights, but hostility among the Druze of the area has flared due to rebel attacks on their brethren in Syria.

In June Druze attacked an Israeli military ambulance on the Golan transporting wounded Syrians to hospital, killing one of them. Previously, Druze in northern Israel’s Galilee region stoned a military ambulance they suspected was taking Syrian rebels to hospital.

There is already hostility in Israel toward asylum-seekers from Africa and a concerted government effort to repatriate them. Official figures show there are 45,000 illegal immigrants in the Jewish state, almost all from Eritrea and Sudan.

Most of those who are not in detention centers live in poor areas on the south side of Tel Aviv, where there have been several protests against them.

 

View original Ynet publication at:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4697803,00.html

 

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