By AVIEL SCHNEIDER, ISRAEL TODAY—
The Palestinian governments in Gaza (Hamas) and the so-called “West Bank” (Mahmoud Abbas) have refused to take Palestinian refugees from war-ridden Syria.
Recently, the UN Works and Relief Agency (UNWRA), which was created to handle the issue of Palestinian Arab refugees, asked the Palestinian governments to allow their brothers from Syria to enter.
Palestinian Arabs in Syria have had to flee their refugee camps under attack from Syrian rebels who view the Palestinians as supporters of dictator Bashar Assad.
Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh refused to take the refugees on the grounds that doing so would set a dangerous precedent for more Palestinian refugees to come to the Gaza Strip. He declared that these refugees should return to Israel and not to the Gaza Strip.
Haniyeh further argued that Gaza doesn’t have the financial resources to absorb any refugees.
Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas similarly refused entry into the PA-controlled parts of Judea and Samaria.
Even though the Palestinian governments in Gaza and Ramallah truly don’t have the financial resources to take on refugees, the refusal to help their brothers in a time of great danger is still strange.
On the one hand, the Palestinians in Gaza and Ramallah constantly ask UNWRA for help for themselves, but on the other they refuse help to their people who see themselves as refugees as well.
Sixty years ago, Israel didn’t have the financial resources to take on refugees either, but over 600,000 fleeing Jews were welcomed with open arms and given a place in the country.
It is clear the Palestinians don’t really care about a “right of return,” rather they want to destroy the Jewish state demographically, while keeping these outsiders out of Palestinian towns and villages. The refugee problem is only a tool against Israel.