UNRWA concerned about "entrapment" of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

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Filippo Grandi

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA)  has expressed concern over the situation of Palestinian refugees caught in the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Filippo Grandi, the Commissioner General of UNRWA told reporters in New York on Monday that unlike Syrians, Palestinian refugees have what the agency calls "limited flight options".

He said Jordan, which already has a population of about two million Palestinian refugees has stated that it does not want more Palestinian refugees to cross into its territory.

"So the only way really open for the Palestinian refugees who want to escape out of Syria because of security concerns has been Lebanon where life for Palestinian refugees is already very difficult but where 32,000 have now fled from Syria in addition to those of course normally living in Lebanon. So, in a way, there is a situation of entrapment for the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, which is of great concern." (28")

Mr. Grandi said another concern is that up to the summer of 2012, Palestinian refugees were by and large left out of the conflict but, as it expanded it began to have an impact on them.

According to Mr. Grandi, although small groups of Palestinian refugees are taking sides, the majority of the population simply wants to be left out of the conflict.

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration: 1'20"

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