Palestinian refugees living under extremely difficult conditions in
Lebanon have not received payments from the Palestinian Authority (P.A)
since the Palestinian Legislative elections in March 2006, the Qatar
based Al Jazeera TV and its news website reported.
Al Jazeera said that a considerable number of refugees used to receive assistance from the (P.A), but after the Hamas movement won the legislative elections, an international embargo on the Hamas-led government, halted the transfer of any funds to the refugees in Lebanon.
There are around 400.000 Palestinians officially registered by the United Nations as refugees living in Lebanon, most of them are living in 12 refugee camps.
One of the refugees, Qassem Ahmad, a member of Fateh at the Ein Al Hilwa refugee camp, said that his monthly salary from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has stopped since March.
Ahmad depends on this salary as his main source in income and livelihood since the Lebanese government does not allow the Palestinian refugees to work, obtain work permits and to own lands.
Last year, some of the restrictions against the refugees in Lebanon were lifted after the government allowed the Lebanese-born Palestinians to apply for a limited number of private sector jobs, but they are still not allowed to obtain jobs at any governmental facility.
The vast majority of the refugees in Lebanon are living in extreme poverty and in overcrowded camps that lack the basic facilities and services.
Meanwhile, Hamas blamed the PLO and the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, saying that the funds to the refugees are the responsibility of the PLO and Abbas.
Osama Hamdan, a Hamas representative in Lebanon told Aljazeera that the Palestinian National Fund that belongs to the P.A is responsible for paying salaries to the refugees.
Hamdan added that the head of the fund is also a member of the PLO Executive Committee.
Also, Hamdan stated that Abbas said that he sent the salaries of Palestinian employees in the occupied territories at the beginning of August, but the money never made their way to the people.
“Where is this money”, he said, “Until now nobody received the $2.4 million supposedly sent at the beginning of August”.
Meanwhile, Fateh movement, blamed the embargo for the lack of funds. Colonel, Moneer Miqdah, head of Fateh armed forces in Lebanon, said that the embargo caused negative consequences, and that dozens of families cannot send their children to school, buy books or pay for transportation.