Lebanon under fire for returning Palestinians to Syria

Residents of the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp wait to leave the camp, on the southern edge of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria, Feb. 4, 2014

BEIRUT — Human Rights Watch on Tuesday criticized Lebanon for refusing entry to Palestinians from Syria and forcibly returning them to the war-torn country.

It accused Beirut of “arbitrarily” denying Palestinians entry and documented the deportation of around 40 Palestinians accused of having forged documents.

The Lebanese government has not announced a blanket ban on the entry of Palestinians from Syria, but government sources confirm a general policy to keep out Palestinians fleeing the conflict. […]
But Lebanon is also home to around 422,000 Palestinian refugees, whose presence in the country remains a source of tension.

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Lebanon is not very large in terms of area and its total population is about four million.