Palestinian Refugees in Libya Facing Mysterious Fate

Palestinian Refugees in Libya Facing Mysterious Fate

Very little has been reported on Palestinians in Libya, which makes their future increasingly uncertain.

Human rights groups have recently raised concerns over Palestinian refugees in Libya, saying  their situation has been characterized by uncertainty and life-threatening risks.

The situation has been particularly alarming for Palestinian refugees and other migrants in Libya following the 2011 uprising, which put an end to over four decades of Qadhafi rule.

The outbreak in violence in May 2014, which split the country into two rivaling governments, has led to the withdrawal of international aid agencies and embassies. This in turn has contributed to further limiting access to updated information on migrants.

The conflict in Syria that broke out in March 2011 brought about a new wave of Syrians and Palestinians seeking refuge in Libya. These refugees hoped to find a better life in the oil-rich country. However, the growing influx of refugees from Syria to Libya soon turned out nightmarish in a country that was already mired by civil unrest in the aftermath of the uprising.

Very little has been reported on Syrians and Palestinians in Libya, which makes their future increasingly uncertain.

The political stand-off between the rivaling governments, the upsurge of multiple armed conflicts, and the new wave of intense fighting between different coalitions of armed militias over control of territory, infrastructure and resources resulted in the death of thousands of civilians and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of individuals, including Palestinian refugees and other migrants.

Palestinian refugees have been severely affected by the recent turmoil that broke out in Libya, where they are increasingly being regarded as unwanted foreigners. In addition, Palestinians are also victims of the escalating level of crime, such as theft, violence, human smuggling and abductions, brought about by the exacerbated situation. This in turn has pushed thousands of them to take the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe. Some Palestinians are reported to have been detained before their journey even began.

In addition, restrictive entry/exit measures undertaken by neighboring countries, such as Egypt and Tunisia, have further hampered their possibility to leave Libya.

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