Talking Points -- HISTORY of Palestinians in Iraq

Palestinians in Iraq: no citizenship, no rights


  • Palestinians in Iraq – even those born there – do not have citizenship, passports, freedom to vote or own property, hold government office, or serve in the military.
  • Saddam Hussein made a public show of supporting Palestinians. They received subsidized housing (simple housing projects, mostly concrete blocks).
  • Because of Saddam’s alleged support (according to Palestinians, much of what he claimed on TV were lies), Iraqi civilians came to resent the Palestinians in their midst.
  • In 2003, after the fall of the regime, thousands of Palestinians were evicted from their homes by Iraqi civilians. They ended up in a sports stadium, assisted by UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees).
  • Since late 2004, Palestinians have been increasingly targeted by Iraqi army, police, and security forces, as well as by various Shi’a militias including the Mehdi militia and the Badr Brigades.
  • Palestinians have been targeted for arbitrary detention, torture, death by torture, mortar attacks on their neighborhoods, kidnapping, and mass death threats, amounting to an effort of ethnic cleansing by some militia groups. Thousands of Palestinians have fled or attempted to flee. The situation continues to worsen to this day.

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