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Tuesday, June 28, 2005 

Lebanon: we'll treat Palestinians a bit more humanely

Lebanon has removed some of the draconian restrictions on Palestinians in the country, allowing them to work for the first time.

But it'll only apply to Palestinians born in Lebanon, only if they're under 57, and only in some manual labour and clerical jobs in the private-sector. They still wont be allowed to go anywhere near government jobs like medicine, law and engineering. And they still wont be allowed to build a house.

The announcement came from the Shia Labour Minister Trad Hamadeh, a friend of Hizbollah.

They were not allowed to work, or gain citizenship in case they upset the country's delicate sectarian balance. They were only allowed to seek work within their refugee camps.

But there are whiffs of self-serving motivations here. Many Syrians were doing private-sector menial jobs in Lebanon, but tens of thousands fled after the threats and attacks in the wake of Rafiq Al-Hariri's murder. Construction sites virtually ground to a halt soon after. So are Palestinians are the new Syrians?

The final solution to the palestenian problem seems to have started first KILL Hareri second ,force Syria out of Lebanon then terorise the syrian workers to leave without syria there to protec them then offer the palestenian to work to make Lebanon dependant on them and make them comfortable staying in Lebanon istead of asking for their homes in Palestine, I hope the Lebanese and the Palestenians will have the wisdom to see the plan and stop it as Syria can not protect Lebanon and the Palestenians anymore. naim

I have read many opinions that the Palestinian workers will be exploited, will be paid rock-bottom wages, and the authors seemed indignant about that. Back in school I learned about a law which supposedly covered this type of situation. It declared that when there were more labourers available wanting jobs than there were jobs available, that wages would seek their lowest levels. This apparently is a law presupposing that the authorities don't interviene (with laws which dictate minimum wages, for example.)

Without a government dictating social policy, that's just the way its going to be.

Personally, having been in a similar situation, I'll bet the Palestinians in the camps will be glad to earn work and money, even small amounts.

Barney

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