Author : Ma'an news agency | Readings : 115 | Date : 2012-05-24
BEIRUT - President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that Palestinians in Lebanon should not arm themselves, as they are under the protection of the Lebanese state and its military, local media reported.
“The weapons of Palestinians in Lebanon are illegitimate. We do not want them inside or outside camps. We respect the law and we are [under] the protection of the Lebanese state and army,” Abbas was quoted as saying.
According to Beirut-based Now Lebanon news agency, Abbas told the An-Nahar newspaper of “permanent” cooperation with the Lebanese government to maintain security in Palestinian refugee camps.
The president also voiced hope that the lives of Palestinians in Lebanon would be “easier”, adding that they did not “want to be naturalized.”
In March, Abbas gave his approval to several resolutions affecting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, in an effort to improve their situation.
One recommendation was to integrate security and civil branches in refugee camps into one national security institution to be headed by security official Subhi Abu Arab and supervised by secretary general of camps in Lebanon Fathi Abu al-Aradat.
There are currently over 400,000 Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA in Lebanon and the fragile sectarian composition of Lebanese society makes their presence a sensitive issue.
Refugees in the country have long suffered discrimination and are deprived of basic rights.