Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Turning away refugees

Needless to say that Israel's actions in turning away vulnerable refugees is not unique and reflects the policies of many other nations.

Lama Fakih, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera both the Israeli and Jordanian governments have an obligation to not push back fleeing asylum seekers. Although Jordan is presently home to 655,624 registered Syrian refugees.
"The tens of thousands that have been displaced are fleeing extensive bombardment. They have left in many cases with literally the clothing on their backs," Fakih said. "They are living in areas where is intense heat without adequate shelter, without adequate humanitarian assistance and despite the extreme humanitarian conditions and insecurity in the area, both the Israeli and the Jordanian government have persisted in not allowing these asylum seekers to try to seek refuge across the border," he added.  According to Fakih, the displaced group includes journalists, humanitarian aid workers and other individuals who the Syrian government has targeted, detained and executed in the past. Fakih said Israel's response to developments along the border falls short of what is required to alleviate the suffering of displaced Syrians. "Quite simply it is inadequate and inhumane. These are individuals that are desperate for assistance. The response from the Israeli government has been to provide assistance across the border which has been inadequate. There are serious concerns for displaced populations that remain in Syria."

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