The Reason Arab Nations Reject Palestinian Refugees Might Not Be What People Think

Published November 20, 2023

The current war between Israel and Hamas has not only raised questions about the conflict itself but also about the history and politics behind it. One of the more pressing questions concerns the plight of the Palestinian refugees and their descendants, and it is a question that has been asked since the crisis began after Israel’s War of Independence in 1948.

The question is: Why haven’t Arab nations taken in Palestinian refugees and assimilated them into their own societies?

It would make sense, wouldn’t it? The easiest way for the entities claiming to care about Palestinians to ease their burdens would be to take them into their care. Yet, since 1948, the Arab nations, by and large, have refused to accept them.

Sir Alexander Galloway, who headed the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), gave us the answer to this question in 1952:

The Arab States do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don’t give a damn whether the refugees live or die.

In essence, the Arab nations and terrorist groups like Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) view the Palestinian refugees as mere pawns in their overall fight against Israel, nothing more. It’s like having a scapegoat that conveniently doubles as a rallying cry for anti-Israel elements. What is even more galling about this reality is that the Arab nations are the ones who caused the Palestinian refugee crisis in the first place. You can read more about that here.



RELATED: Explained: Why Arab nations don’t want to take in Palestinian refugees from Gaza

Palestinians with foreign passports arrive at the Rafah gate hoping to cross into Egypt as Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip continues on October 14, 2023. International aid groups and major powers have pleaded with Israel to set up safe zones in Gaza where thousands struggled on October 14 to get out of a major part of the Palestinian territory under threat of attack. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP) (Photo by SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images)
Published October 18, 2023

CAIRO (AP) — As desperate Palestinians in sealed-off Gaza try to find refuge under Israel’s relentless bombardment in retaliation for Hamas’ brutal Oct. 7 attack, some ask why neighboring Egypt and Jordan don’t take them in.

The two countries, which flank Israel on opposite sides and share borders with Gaza and the occupied West Bank, respectively, have replied with a staunch refusal. Jordan already has a large Palestinian population.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi made his toughest remarks yet on Wednesday, saying the current war was not just aimed at fighting Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, “but also an attempt to push the civilian inhabitants to … migrate to Egypt.” He warned this could wreck peace in the region.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II gave a similar message a day earlier, saying, “No refugees in Jordan, no refugees in Egypt.”

Their refusal is rooted in fear that Israel wants to force a permanent expulsion of Palestinians into their countries and nullify Palestinian demands for statehood. El-Sissi also said a mass exodus would risk bringing militants into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, from where they might launch attacks on Israel, endangering the two countries’ 40-year-old peace treaty.



RELATED: Arab states say Palestinians must stay on their land as war escalates

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of Russia-Africa summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, July 26, 2023. Sputnik/Alexei Danichev/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
Published October 14, 2023

Calls for a humanitarian corridor or an escape route for Palestinians from Gaza as a conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has escalated have drawn a blunt reaction from Arab neighbours.

Egypt, the only Arab state to share a border with Gaza, and Jordan, which is next to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, have both warned against Palestinians being forced off their land.

It reflects deep Arab fears that Israel’s latest war with Hamas in Gaza could spark a new wave of permanent displacement from land where Palestinians want to build a future state.

“This is the cause of all causes, the cause of all Arabs,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday. “It is important that the (Palestinian) people remain steadfast and present on their land.”

For Palestinians, the idea of leaving or being driven out of land where they want to forge a state carries echoes of the “Nakba”, or “catastrophe”, when many Palestinians fled or were forced from their homes during the 1948 war that accompanied Israel’s creation.




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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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71% of the earth is covered by ocean, water is a 1000 times denser than air and the mass of the oceans are 360 times that of the atmosphere, small temperature changes in the oceans doesn’t only modulate air temperature, but it also affect the CO2 level according to Henry’s Law.

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