'UAE forces Palestinian refugees to leave'

Palestinian officials say many Palestinians have been forced to leave the United Arab Emirates in recent months.

'UAE forces Palestinian refugees to leave'

Palestinian officials say many Palestinians have been forced to leave the United Arab Emirates in recent months.

Hussam Ahmed, head of the Refugee Affairs Department in the Gaza Strip said hundreds of Palestinians had been dismissed from their jobs for purported security reasons.

"(This is) an operation of mass displacement of Palestinians in the UAE, especially those of Gaza origins, without known reasons other than security pretexts," he said in a statement issued in Gaza on Thursday, citing the UAE town of al-Ain.

He said many did not have passports and Arab states would not accept them with the travel documents they have.

Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas government head in Gaza, said he was seeking clarification about the issue. "I have received official reports from there and I have urged some Palestinian leaders outside to intervene," he told reporters in Gaza on Wednesday.

"Denial"

Khairy al-Aridi, Palestinian ambassador to the UAE, was quoted by the Ramallah-based official Palestinian news agency Wafa on Thursday as denying a deliberate policy of expulsion.

But he said Palestinians and other foreigners had lost jobs as teachers through the UAE government replacing posts occupied by expatriate professionals with UAE citizens.

"The charitable policy of the UAE towards Palestinians has not changed," he said in the comments which were carried on the front page of UAE Arabic newspapers on Friday.

Aridi did not say how many Palestinians left the UAE or where they had gone.

In phone calls to the UAE Nationality and Residency Department in Dubai, officials denied Palestinians had been asked to leave. An Interior Ministry spokesman in Abu Dhabi said he was not aware of the matter.


Reuters

Last Mod: 05 Eylül 2009, 09:49
Add Comment