Palestinian Refugees Slam Double Standards of Jordan Asylum Seeking Policy

Palestinian Refugees Slam Double Standards of Jordan Asylum Seeking Policy

The majority of Palestinian refugees in Jordan lack access to reliable education and healthcare services and live below the national poverty line. (File photo via UN)

Watching European and non-European nations open their arms to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians in less than a week, Palestinian refugees cannot help but lament their fate as they are still in tents and substandard facilities facing death amid an international community’ s silence.

Recently, Jordan has greenlihgted the entry of Asylum seekers from war-ravaged Ukraine without having to obtain visas.

The majority of the Palestinians from Syria entered Jordan through irregular routes as a result of the Jordanian closed-door immigration policy barring the refugees’ legal entry.

Over 18,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria in Jordan can be categorized as vulnerable due to their precarious legal status and deteriorating humanitarian condition. The refugees’ vulnerable legal status has reduced their access to the job market and increased the risk of refoulement.

Several Palestinians who fled Syria for fear of being killed under shelling and the blockade have been shorn of their right to legal stays, health care, and access to education, among other services.

The swift price hike, steep rental fees, and daily crackdowns, along with the apathy maintained by international as regards the crisis and UNRWA cuts of its basic services, have added insult to the injury.

Since early 2012, Jordan has opted for a closed-door immigration policy and tightened grip on Palestinian refugees attempting to enter the country.

Sometime earlier, the Jordanian Prime Minister said his government shall not allow refugees from Syria to freely enter the country and turn Jordan into an “alternative home” for the displaced Palestinians.

In an earlier report, the New York-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Jordan is turning away Palestinian refugees from Syria in violation of international law.

According to the report, Jordan forcibly repatriated more than 100 asylum seekers, including women and children, since mid-2012.

The 44-page HRW report, entitled "Not Welcome: Jordan's Treatment of Palestinians Escaping Syria," documented Jordan's deportation of seven Palestinian men who were separated from their families, and evidence of the transfer of four others to Cyber City, a closed holding facility for Palestinian and Syrian refugees in northern Jordan.

It also described how Jordan withdrew citizenship from Palestinians who had lived in Syria for years and who had been detained or deported without identity documents.

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