TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi Arabia chock-full arising crusade visas for Palestinians in Lebanon who authority refugee biking documents, finer barring tens of bags of Palestinians from visiting Mecca and Medina, the two best important religious sites for Muslims.
An official at the Saudi consul’s appointment in Beirut accepted to Middle East Eye (MEE) that afterward a accommodation by the Saudi Foreign Ministry in Riyadh, they had a tourism companies in Lebanon that no Hajj and Umrah visas would be issued to Palestinians on their refugee biking abstracts – a accommodation that became able on September 12.
“The Palestinian refugees [in Lebanon] can now get visas on a Palestinian Authority passport,” the official said.
“There are Palestinians who already activated for Umrah visas on their PA passports afterwards the decision was fabricated and they got visas to biking [to Saudi Arabia]. I do not accept an exact cardinal for them,” the official added.
The official declared that that the Saudi Foreign Ministry had a the active West Bank-based PA of its decision.
Ashraf Dabbour, the Palestinian Authority ambassador in Beirut told MEE that the admiral knew about the Saudi acceptance accommodation through unofficial channels by chat of aperture from Palestinian bounded figures.
But he denied that the PA would affair biking abstracts for refugees in Lebanon adulatory to biking to Saudi Arabia.
“It is not accurate that we will affair Palestinian passports for any refugee in Lebanon to get a acceptance for Umrah or any added array of visa. The PA did not affair a accommodation to affair passports for Palestinians in any Arab states,” Dabbour told MEE.
Dabbour declared that the Palestinian admiral was “surprised” by the Saudi decision and that it was “solving this matter” with the Saudi admiral in Beirut, as able-bodied as through the Palestinian agent in Riyadh, Basem Abdullah al-Agha, who he said has been in acquaintance with the Saudi Adopted Ministry.
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are estimated to number 174,422, according to the country’s aboriginal and alone demography of the association in December aftermost year.
They authority refugee biking abstracts issued by Lebanon’s General Directorate of the General Security and currently accept no admission to any added anatomy of biking abstracts acceptance them to go to Saudi Arabia.
They could administer for a Lebanese biking document that is accurate for one, three or bristles years, and the appliance fees are similar to that of the Lebanese passport, which costs $40 for anniversary accurate year.
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon accept no political rights of citizenship to vote for assembly or bounded municipalities.
They are additionally prohibited from practising 20 professions including law, anesthetic and engineering, and are not accustomed to assignment in government institutions because they are appointed as “foreigners” beneath Lebanese law.
The Lebanese political arrangement is based on a bigoted anatomy abacus ability amidst the capital religious communities.
While a cardinal of Christian Palestinians who fled to Lebanon in the deathwatch of the conception of the accompaniment of Israel and the Nakba in 1948 were accepted Lebanese citizenship, Lebanon has been decidedly afraid to accommodate Palestinian refugees and adapt its population’s already close confessional makeup.
Dabbour acclaimed that the Palestinian admiral in Lebanon had ahead issued PA passports for undocumented Palestinians in Lebanon, accepted additionally as non-ID refugees, whose numbers are estimated at about 5,000, to facilitate their travel away and access visas and address in added adopted countries.
“This is a accurate case in which we issued Palestinian passports because those non-ID refugees were not registered with the UNRWA nor the Lebanese state, and they could not biking anywhere,” Dabbour explained.
The Palestinian admiral has not yet issued a account apropos the aftereffect of its talks with Saudi officials.
Saudi Arabia is one of the funders of the Palestinian Authority, and it uses its financial advantage to put political pressure on the PA. In 2017, the commonwealth contributed $92.1m to the account of the PA – a about 50 percent abatement from its $180m addition a year earlier.
Speaking to MEE, several Lebanese tourism companies accepted that they accept not been able to access visas for their Palestinian audience who authority refugee biking documents. The accommodation was conveyed to them by the Saudi admiral through the Lebanese Board for Hajj and Umrah Affairs.
Ibrahim Itani, the administrator of the committee, told MEE that the Saudi consul, Palestinian agent and the Lebanese General Security all accepted to him that Palestinian refugees bare Palestinian Authority passports to access Saudi Arabia.
Itani was asked by several day-tripper companies to allege with the Saudi admiral to see if the accommodation could be reverted.
“The case is now with Abu Mazen,” Itani told MEE, apropos to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, abacus that “I accept been told that this is an affair amidst states, that was the answer”.
In September 2017, Saudi Arabia backtracked in a agnate case over acceptance issues for Palestinians on their refugee biking documents, afterward burden from the PA and some Palestinian abstracts in Lebanon.
An buyer of a Hajj and Umrah biking appointment in the Southern Lebanese burghal of Saida, who admired to abide anonymous, told MEE that the Saudi accommodation was “not practical”, and they were attractive for the abandoning of this decision.
“If you affair a Palestinian passport, you again charge to administer for a address in Lebanon and this is addition botheration for Palestinian refugees,” he said, abacus that “you could again administer for a acceptance for Saudi Arabia, but again the refugee biking certificate will become void”.
MEE appear in September that Saudi Arabia had banned Palestinians captivation acting Jordanian passports from entering the country, a admeasurement anon affecting almost 634,000 Palestinians living in Jordan and Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.
Several biking agents who batten to MEE at the time said they had been told at the alpha of September that they should not administer for visas for anyone gluttonous to biking on a acting Jordanian passport, although no official Saudi advertisement had been made.
The Jordanian acting passport is a document valid for bristles years issued to Palestinians who alive in active East Jerusalem by the Civil Status and Passports Department in Amman.
The holders of acting passports do not accept a civic identification cardinal and are accordingly not advantaged to the abounding rights of Jordanian citizenship.
Palestinians active in East Jerusalem use the authorization alone as a biking certificate to move from one country to another, abnormally in the majority of Arab states that do not recognise Israel or Israeli-issued biking documents.
Some Palestinian and Arab media accept affiliated the Saudi move to US President Donald Trump’s as-yet-unannounced “deal of the century” proposal, amidst rumours that Washington approved Saudi abutment for measures that would abjure the appropriate of acknowledgment of Palestinian refugees displaced by the conception of Israel in 1948 and consecutive Arab-Israeli wars.
The measures would see Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan absolutely naturalised and accepted civic ID numbers.
Israel Katz, Israel’s abbot of transport, tweeted on September 11 affable Trump’s “initiative” apropos the affair of Palestinian refugees, adage that the Palestinian refugee “problem” in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq “would be acceptable to abandon from the world”.
MEE could not affirm if Katz’s cheep was accompanying to Saudi Arabia’s new restrictions on Palestinian refugee and acting biking documents.
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