244 Palestinian exiles from Iraq arrive in Syria

May 9, 2006 20:25


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Nearly 250 Palestinian refugees fleeing violence and death threats in Iraq arrived in Syria on Tuesday, after most of them were stranded for weeks in a desert border area because Jordan refused to admit them. The Palestinians said their community in Iraq was being targeted by armed groups, though some said they were fleeing the general instability in parts of the country, including the capital Baghdad. "Every Palestinian in Iraq is targeted. I walk in the street and I don't carry any document showing that I am Palestinian for fear of being killed," Iyhab Tim said. He said Iraqi police "stop and arrest every Palestinian they find in the street on the pretext of lacking a proper residence permit." Syria agreed to take the refugees after an appeal from Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar, and on Tuesday nine buses carried the Palestinians through the Tanaf border crossing, 300 kilometers (187 miles) northeast of Damascus.

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