Neglected Palestinian refugees pose threat

BRUSSELS, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The ongoing neglect of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is fostering radicalism and could spark a conflict, a report from the International Crisis Group said.

The Belgium-based independent non-governmental organization said in a report released Thursday that Lebanon's security-first policy has left the Palestinian population in the country marginalized and susceptible to recruitment by jihadi militants, the Crisis Group reported.


The report, titled "Nurturing Instability: Lebanon's Palestinian Refugee Camps," calls on leaders in Lebanon to address the neglect of hundreds of thousands of increasingly heavily armed Palestinians or face the possibility of a serious conflict that could spread throughout the region.

"The camps are a tinderbox blend of socioeconomic deprivation, political marginalization, mistrust of the state, ineffective security, radicalization, weapons and divided leadership," Robert Malley, Crisis Group Middle East program director, said in a statement.

"The Gaza conflict did not spark a conflagration. But the next match, domestic or regional, is likely to be struck soon."

The Crisis Group report calls for clarifying the status of the Palestinian refugees, a review of security at the Palestinian camps and a strengthening of Lebanese-Palestinian and inter-Palestinian cooperation.


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