Iceland, Sweden to absorb Palestinians

Nearly 200 refugees left Iraq after being persecuted for receiving preferential treatment by Saddam.

Palestinian refugees 224 (photo credit: AP)
Palestinian refugees 224
(photo credit: AP)
Iceland and Sweden will take in nearly 200 Palestinian refugees stranded in makeshift desert camps on Iraq's border with Syria. The Palestinian community in Iraq has become a target for persecution largely because others thought they were favored under late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's regime. Over two dozen Palestinians will leave the Al Waleed refugee camp in the next few weeks for Iceland, Ron Redmond, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said Tuesday. Some of the women and children in the group have "urgent medical needs," he added. Another 155 Palestinian refugees from the Al Tanf refugee camp will be resettled in Sweden, he said. The poorly supplied camps house around 2,300 Palestinians who fled violence in Iraq and have been unable to return or to enter neighboring countries, Redmond said, describing the living conditions in the camps as "desperate." The UN refugee agency is trying to find other countries to resettle the remaining Palestinian refugees.