Palestinian refugees have launched a third day of consecutive protests in camps across Lebanon against a government crackdown on non-Lebanese workers. Last month Lebanon’s ministry of labour began clamping down on businesses employing foreign workers without a permit.
After a grace period expired last week it started inspections and closed non-compliant establishments, while issuing others with warnings.
Hundreds of Palestinian refugees staged protests on Tuesday, with residents of the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp taking to the streets and burning tires at the camp’s entrance to stop authorities from coming in.
Protests have continued into Wednesday, with demonstrators blocking entrances to Palestinian refugee camps, burning tires, and preventing the entry of food products. Thousands of Palestinians have gone on strike in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon, The Daily Star reported.
The Lebanese army was deployed overnight to clear roads and disperse protesters.
Gaza-based Palestinian movement Hamas called for “the immediate end to all closures”.
Azzam al-Ahmad, from the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), discussed the measures with Lebanese officials, saying they went against Lebanese-
Palestinian efforts “to organize the residency, work, and rights of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon”.
Around 174,000 Palestinian refugees live in 12 camps across the country, a one-off government census said in 2017.
In 2010, Lebanon’s parliament revoked a ban that had barred them from tens of professions for years, restricting them to jobs in fields such as construction and farming.
But Palestinians are still not permitted to work in professions reserved for Lebanese citizens such as medicine, law, the army, and the police.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)