Palestinian refugees have been residing in Iraq since 1948, when the Arab-Israeli conflict caused large scale displacement throughout the region. (File photo)
Palestinian refugees leaving the Iraqi territories and staying outside the country for over three months should obtain a visa to be let into Iraq again.
This came as part of new measures complicating the access of Palestinian refugees out of/into the Iraqi territories.
An Iraqi MP who spoke to the New Arab news site on condition of anonymity said that the Foreign Ministry gave instructions for banning the entry of Palestinian refugees who stayed outside the country for more than three months, unless an entry visa and absence excuse are issued by the embassy of the host country.
He added that a number of Palestinian refugees who have been stranded in Turkey due to the coronavirus lockdown headed to the Palestine Embassy in Istanbul to get entry visas to Iraq. However, their applications were turned down.
Palestinian refugees have been residing in Iraq since 1948, when the Arab-Israeli conflict caused large scale displacement throughout the region. That movement was followed by another group who fled the Occupied Territories as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and later by a third group who fled from the Gulf countries in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf war.
Persecution of members of the Palestinian community in Iraq began almost immediately after the fall of the former Saddam Hussein’s regime in April 2003. Palestinians were subject to harassment, targeted attacks, kidnapping, abduction, torture and extra-judicial killings.
Hundreds of Palestinian families were forcibly evicted from government and privately owned housing, by groups of armed Shi’a militia as well as landlords who had received minimal rent from the government. Large numbers of Palestinians were dismissed from their employment, and the widespread violence in the aftermath of the US invasion caused the exodus of hundreds of families.