Central Security Council Asks General Security to Devise Refugee Entry Mechanism amid Outcry

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

The Central Security Council on Tuesday asked the General Directorate of General Security to devise a mechanism that would organize the entry of Syrian and Palestinian refugees from Syria into Lebanon, amid criticism by the U.N. and a rights watchdog over a recent incident.

“The council discussed the access of Syrian citizens and Syria-based Palestinian refugees into Lebanon by land and air, stressing that there is no resolution that totally prevents their entry and that the borders are not closed in their face,” state-run National News Agency said.

The conferees also tackled the measures that were taken last weekend against a number of Syrian and Palestinian citizens who sought to transit from Lebanon into Arab states.

The council noted that they were deported for possessing fake travel papers, describing their behavior as a “criminal offense.”

During the meeting, “the General Directorate of General Security was asked to suggest a mechanism that would regulate the entry of Syrians and Syria-based Palestinian refugees into Lebanon according to clear standards,” NNA said.

It added that the sought-after mechanism will be referred to cabinet for discussion and approval.

Earlier on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch and a U.N. refugee agency expressed concern that Lebanon was blocking Palestinians fleeing Syria from entering the country.

UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, said it was "concerned about the increased restrictions on Palestine refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria from entering Lebanon."

"We are monitoring the situation on the border carefully and have been given assurances by the Lebanese authorities that these restrictions are temporary," said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness in a statement.

Human Rights Watch, meanwhile, criticized Lebanon for refusing entry to Palestinians from Syria and returning them to the war-torn country.

HRW accused Lebanese authorities of "arbitrarily" denying entry and documented the deportation of around 40 Palestinians accused of having forged documents.

Lebanon has not announced a blanket ban on the entry of Palestinians from Syria, but government sources have confirmed a general policy to keep out Palestinians fleeing the conflict.

Speaking to Agence France Presse on condition of anonymity, one source said the government felt Palestinian refugees registered in Syria should stay there, pointing out Lebanon already has more than one million Syrian refugees.

But HRW said the Lebanese government was violating international law by sending civilians back to an active war zone.

"The Lebanese government should urgently rescind its decision to bar Palestinians from Syria from entering Lebanon," the group said in a statement.

"Lebanon is turning people back without adequately considering the dangers they face," the New York-based organization added.

The group said the Palestinians seeking to enter Lebanon from a crossing with Syria had been "arbitrarily denied entry" over the weekend.

At the same time, a General Security official told AFP that 41 people, many of them Palestinians, were returned to Syria after they were caught trying to fly out from Beirut airport using fake visas.

"Eight were allowed to stay because they have Palestinian Lebanese relatives here, or other documentation that allows them to be here," said the official.

Among the more than one million refugees from Syria registered in Lebanon are around 52,000 Palestinian Syrians.

Once numbering 500,000 in Syria, Palestinians have been targeted by both sides in the war, making them one of the country's most vulnerable groups, rights groups say.

But Lebanon is also home to around 422,000 Palestinian refugees, whose presence in the country remains a source of tension.

Unlike Jordan and Turkey, which also host a large number of Syrian refugees, Lebanon refuses to set up camps for people fleeing Syria's war.

Some politicians have cited the semi-permanent status of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon dating back to the 1948 creation of Israel as the reason why Lebanon does not want more camps.

The international community has praised Lebanon, which has a population of just four million, for absorbing so many of those fleeing Syria.

And while HRW criticized Lebanon for returning Palestinian refugees to Syria, the group urged foreign governments to better assist Beirut in hosting refugees.

"The Lebanese government is bearing an incomparable burden with the Syrian refugees crossing its borders, but blocking Palestinians from Syria is mishandling the situation," HRW's deputy Middle East and North Africa director Joe Stork said.



Comments 13
Default-user-icon tiba (Guest) 06 May 2014, 15:07

Sorry, but tiny Lebanon can NOT pick up the slack any more... Time for all Syrians + Palestinians = to go somewhere else...Enough is enough..Anytime there is a problem anywhere on this earth even in Jupiter, right way, Lebanon has to suffer somehow; whereas the rest of the world is enjoying their day to day life!!

Thumb -phoenix1 06 May 2014, 16:28

If the UN is so concerned, then let it take them all, we Lebanese cannot and should not take anymore refugees, period. The UN's performance at providing for the refugees inside Lebanon sucks to say the least. Now we are submerged and the UN still has the guts to blame us? Take them to wherever you want, enough for us Lebanese, not is the time to start getting all refugees back to where they came from.

Thumb cedre 06 May 2014, 16:35

US has to take them ? I didnt know UN had a country...

Thumb cedre 06 May 2014, 16:37

UN has to take them ? I didnt know UN had a country...

Thumb -phoenix1 06 May 2014, 17:17

The extrapolation couldn't be more impaired dear Cedre. These refugees cannot be shouldered by us anymore, we Lebanese have lo0ng since reached our maximum quota, so you leave me with no choice but be very honest over this issue, why should we Lebanese keep having to take so many? Is our country that large or that rich to absorb so many? These refugees, aren't they taking our jobs and businesses? Which other society will accept what we are doing for refugees, which ones? Since there are many bigger and richer countries, why can't the UN criticize them for standing by and watching yet doing so little? Why us? And yes, to answer your question, the UN has no single country, but many, something above 160 countries if my memory serves me right. The hypocrisy over little Lebanon must stop, and stop now.

Thumb lebanon_first 06 May 2014, 16:44

we are "rapped" for exercicing our sovereignty? Why dont you take some pals into europe? we have enough of them here already. Germany accepted 10000 syrians for 2 years, and it was the most generous. We have 2 Million refugees. And you are "rapping us" ? Bunch of hypocrites.

Missing coolmec 06 May 2014, 18:36

Hello Southern
It seems that you and I seem to be the rare ones maintaining our initial name. I think you and I should organize a contest, with the winner being the one who can figure out how many fake names a person has.
the winner of this contest will win a free dinner at a restaurant of his choice
what you say my friend?

Thumb -phoenix1 06 May 2014, 18:46

Coolmec, the fault is with the mods, they know so well who are the rogues posting in this forum under multiple aliases and those who stick to their initial ones. The mods could for instance put in brackets those who post under multiples and also mention those with just ONE.

Missing coolmec 07 May 2014, 00:21

Hey Southern
Sorry for the late reply my friend. I was out just got back in, Based on your comments below it looks like you won the contest. You earned your free dinner. He he he

Thumb -phoenix1 06 May 2014, 18:49

Coolmec, but you see, in the absence of decent moderation, the game boils down to one of endurance. For instance, there are a few rogues here who impersonate the profiles of those they hate, would even go as far as copying and pasting comments in the hope that they will obfuscate free speech. But then, that attitude is childish, the rule or the weapon of best defense is to remain indifferent, and polite all the time, just focus on the subject and ignore the rogue objects.

Missing coolmec 06 May 2014, 18:51

Hello Phoenix
how r u my friend??
I am still at a loss of understanding the purpose of having several names on this site

Thumb -phoenix1 06 May 2014, 18:56

Hi Coolmec, I am fine and you? All OK? Me too, earlier on, I couldn't explain why some people resort to such lengths, but it looks certain that such people suffer from a high level of intolerance. It's rather psychotic, hence their need to protect what they perceive as the original personality hiding under the initial alias, then bombard us with the duplicates, believing that such is what they see as attacks. The best way to look at it all, is this, truly childish and laughable from them.

Missing coolmec 07 May 2014, 00:31

Sorry for the late reply I just got back home. I am glad to hear you're doing ok