In Iraq: “You are Palestinian. Get out.”

Old Blog Import

Salon has an article with more on the plight of Iraqi Palestinians:

Al-Assa’ad is one of 850 Iraqi Palestinians living in a refugee camp 50 kilometers over the Jordan border, near the squalid town of al-Ruweished. The refugees report a kind of anti-Palestinian pogrom in Baghdad: People are being evicted from their homes at gunpoint; their businesses are being expropriated; they are subjected to threats, robberies and beatings. A 26-year-old named Fouad pulls up a tie-dyed pant leg to show the bullet wound near his knee. He was shot when gunmen came to his house, fired a Kalashnikov at him, and said: You are Palestinian. Get out.”

But Fouad doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Like most of the other refugees at al-Ruweished, he was born in Iraq, the child of a family that migrated following the 1948 war in Israel. He was part of a community of Iraqi Palestinians that numbered around 90,000, according to the U.S. Committee for Refugees. The community was favored and protected by Saddam Hussein’s regime, which provided some of them with free housing in a show of Arab solidarity against Israel.