Another goodwill gesture. A deadly precedent. One step closer to the abyss.
“Israel to grant West Bank entry to Iraqi Palestinians,” by Akiva Eldar for Haaretz:
Israel has recently agreed to allow a group of 41 Iraqi refugees of Palestinian origin to enter the West Bank and reunite with relatives there, as a gesture of good will to the government of Prime Minister Salam Fayad.
The Prime Minister’s Bureau confirmed last night that officials were in the process of completing the procedure, in coordination with the Foreign Ministry and the relevant security authorities.
The Foreign Ministry clarified to the relevant parties involved, primarily the United Nations, that Israel does not consider granting entry to Iraqi refugees a precedent heralding the return of Palestinians to the territories – and certainly not to Israel.
But that is exactly what it is: a precedent. Just as with prisoner releases and land withdrawals: once you start you never stop.
After discussion with the UN, it was agreed that the Palestinian Iraqis, who will enter the West Bank, will not receive refugee status and will be registered as regular citizens of the Palestinian Authority.
The vast majority of the Palestinians living in Iraq are originally from villages in the foothills of the Carmel Mountains of Haifa. In 1948, Iraqi officers stationed in the northern West Bank forcibly conscripted men from those villages, and then allowed them and their families to enter Iraq – but never offered them citizenship.
These “Palestinians” have not been in Israel for the better part of 60 years. Some of them may have never been in Israel at all. Most will not be “returning” to anywhere they have ever been before.
Crossposted from The American Israeli Patriot.