Pro-Palestine protest in France. (File photo: TRT World)
Five migrant families from Lebanon, comprising 23 members, including Palestinian refugees, have arrived in the European country in November, reported France’s migration authorities.
The list includes the family of Palestinian refugee from Syria, Mu’awiya Haitham Abu Hamida, aged 44.
The families have reached France through humanitarian corridors. They were welcomed by French nationals in their places of residence: Saint-Rimain-en-Gal, Saint-Agrève, Pau, Dalenheim, and Le Vigan.
Mu’awiya’s arrival has stirred widespread controversy among Palestinian refugees from Syria who were displaced from Lebanon as Mu’awiya, coordinator of the Youth Commission of Palestinians of Syria, has been allegedly holding secret contacts with international human rights organizations to work out his family’s legal status and reneged on the promises he made to dozens of refugee families.
In its fact sheet entitled “Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal 2021”, UNRWA said Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) in Lebanon are grappling with increased hardship and vulnerability, due to long-term displacement and difficult socio-economic conditions, coupled with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to UNRWA, 87% of PRS live in poverty in the Lebanese territories.
Over 470,000 refugees are registered with UNRWA in Lebanon. About 45 per cent of them live in the country’s 12 refugee camps. Conditions in the camps are dire and characterized by overcrowding, poor housing conditions, unemployment, poverty and lack of access to justice.
Palestinians in Lebanon do not enjoy several important rights; for example, they cannot work in many professions and cannot own property (real estate). Because they are not formally citizens of another state, Palestine refugees are unable to claim the same rights as other foreigners living and working in Lebanon.