It seems to be the official message from Lebanon that Palestinians have long overstayed their not so pleasant stay. Testing times ahead for Lebanon, then, with the difficult accommodation of an extra 960,009 refugees, internal delicate sectarian make-up and Hezbollah’s involvement in the neighbouring crisis; the Palestinians, it seems, will be faced with more discrimination than ever.
Having hosted Palestinians over the past 60 years, Lebanon maintains a seclusionist discourse about them with regards to their right to own property as well as their access to official labour markets and social security and other benefits. They are “disqualified” due to a highly strategic set of principles aimed to block any endeavour to improve their situation and build a future for themselves in Lebanon. MEMO met up with a range of NGOs and human rights experts to decipher the fault lines behind Palestinian seclusionism, and its manifestations on the ground in access to, and condition of, employment for refugees.