More than 1,000 Palestinians who fled from the violence in Syria and were hoping to find temporary shelter in Jordan, have been stranded along the border between Syria and Jordan for the past few weeks. The Jordanian authorities have been refusing to allow them into the kingdom.Read the whole thing.
The Jordanian authorities have set up a makeshift refugee camp along the border with Syria, where the Palestinians are being held in tents, with poor sanitary conditions.
Jordan's treatment of Palestinian refugees is not uncommon for an Arab country. Lebanon and Egypt have also refused to grant asylum to the fleeing Palestinians. This is also not the first time that an Arab country keeps Palestinians waiting on the border. In the past, Palestinians have also been denied entry into Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Libya.
Arab support for the Palestinians has been largely rhetorical over the past two decades, forcing the Palestinians to become almost entirely dependent on American and EU taxpayers' money.
Meanwhile, an additional 100,000 Syrians, who have fled their country in the past year, have been permitted to enter Jordan.
The Jordanians are worried that if they allow a few hundred Palestinians to settle in the kingdom, that would create a precedent and pave the way for 500,000 Palestinians living in Syria to run away to Jordan.
One can sympathize with King Abdullah's problem. For all the talk about the alleged demographic time bomb in Israel due to the exaggerated Arab birth rate, in Jordan, the problem is actually very real. There is already an 80% Palestinian majority King Abdullah's kingdom and he simply cannot afford more Palestinians and the demographic threat to the Jordanians.
Hat tip: Jonathan Tobin
Technorati Tag: Syria and Jordan and Palestinian Refugees.