Palestinian-Iraqi refugees refused entry to Jordan

Jordan on Monday rebuffed a call by a US-based rights watchdog to allow the entry of some 118 Palestinians who have been stuck in the eastern desert straddling the Iraqi border since escaping Baghdad three weeks ago. It was the first government comment on the stranded Palestinian families, including women and children, who arrived in two batches since March 20 at a no man's land inside Iraq near the Jordanian frontier. The Palestinians fled Baghdad amid reports alleging killings and threats among their community. "We cannot be expected to have an open door policy," government spokesman Nasser Judeh told a press briefing. "This is a sovereign country with sovereign rights, concerns and decisions."