Initiative Jachad

Die Situation der Palästinenser in Libanon


In contrast to Syria and Jordan, where most of those defined as refugees no longer actually live in camps, two thirds of the Palestinians in Lebanon are in camps, which are “an ex-territorial enclave” according to the study. The data presented in the study is fascinating. Although 425,000 are registered in UNRWA as refugees, the study found that only between 260,000 and 280,000 Palestinians actually live in Lebanon. Thus, paradoxically, UNRWA receives funding for about 150,000 people who aren’t even in the country. This figure alone should have led to a serious audit by the funding countries – primarily the United States and the European Union – but that probably won’t happen. The Palestinian refugee issue is so suffused with lies and distortions, that one lie won’t really change things. This is how UNRWA can demand funding for 425,000 people when a study on its own website shows this is false.

They suffer from 56% unemployment. This appears to be highest rate not only among Palestinians – but in the entire Arab world. Even those who work are on the bottom rungs of the economy. Only 6% of those in the workforce have any kind of academic degree (as opposed to 20% of the overall work force in Lebanon). The result is that 66% of Palestinians in Lebanon live under the poverty line of $6 a day.

This situation is a function of what is apartheid for all intents and purposes. A series of Lebanese laws limits the Palestinian right to citizenship, property or serving in the medical, legal, journalistic professions and others.[1] A 2007 Amnesty report revealed horrific conditions, the result of an official policy of discrimination. Here’s a summary of their findings:

The discrimination and marginalization suffered by the Palestinian refugees contribute to high levels of unemployment, low wages and poor working conditions. The resultant poverty is exacerbated by restrictions placed on their access to state education and social services. Much of the discriminatory treatment Palestinians face is rooted in their statelessness, which has been used by the Lebanese authorities to deny them equal rights.[2]


In 2010, there was a small amendment to the labor law, but this didn’t lead to any real changes.[3] Another rule prohibits bringing construction materials into refugee camps, and there are reports of arrests and house demolitions as a result of construction with such materials.[4] The partial ban Israel placed on Gaza regarding construction materials was due to their use for building tunnels and rockets for attacking civilians and fortifications to defend against reprisals. As far as we know, the Lebanese prohibition has no such rationale.


[1] For more detail, see the full study here:



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