Human Rights Watch wakes up, blasts Jordan, world yawnsblasted Jordan for its treatment of 'Palestinian refugees' from Syria. Khaled Abu Toameh reports.
According to the report, Jordan, in a clear breach of its international obligations, refuses entry to, or forcibly deports, Palestinian refugees escaping Syria. "Jordan has officially banned entry to Palestinians from Syria since January 2013 and has forcibly deported over 100 who managed to enter the country since mid-2012, including women and children," the report revealed.
The report quotes Basma, a Palestinian woman from Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, who describes how the Jordanians turned her and others back. "They told us, 'You are Palestinians, you aren't allowed to enter,'" she recounted. "They took us in a bus and dropped us on the Syrian side of the border at 2 a.m."
Another Palestinian refugee from Damascus, 47-year-old Abdullah, was quoted as saying: "As we were crossing, the Jordanian army started firing at us. We all laid down flat on the ground to avoid the gunfire. After some moments two trucks with army officers came to us, before we knew what was happening an army officer shot five of us in our legs. We weren't trying to flee."
During the past three years, Jordan has received millions of Syrian refugees. But when it comes to Palestinians, the story is different.
The Jordanians are not afraid of the Syrian refugees because they know that once the crisis is over in their country, they will return to their homes. Unlike the Palestinians, the Syrians are not seeking Jordanian citizenship or new lives in the kingdom. The Syrians see their presence in Jordan as a temporary situation.
There is also no talk about transforming Jordan into a "Syrian state," as opposed to calls for creating a homeland for the Palestinians in the kingdom. As such, the Jordanians' problem is with Palestinians, not Syrians or other Arabs.
Fayez Tarawneh, head of the royal court and former prime minister, defended the anti-Palestinian measures in a meeting with Human Rights Watch last year. He said that a large influx of Palestinians from Syria would alter the demographic balance of the kingdom and cause instability.
The human rights group said that as a result of the Jordanian government's policy, many Palestinians from Syria do not have proper residency papers in Jordan, "making them vulnerable to exploitation, arrest, and deportation."
It continued that, "undocumented Palestinians from Syria dare not seek protection or redress from the Jordanian government against exploitation or other abuses."Really, the Jordanians aren't doing anything different than any other Arab country. If anything, Jordan is the only Arab country that grants any 'Palestinians' citizenship. And the world's reaction to this kind of treatment of 'Palestinians' by their fellow Arabs?
That's right. The world doesn't give a damn how Arabs treat other Arabs. It only cares how Jews treat Arabs. Double standard par excellence.