Iraq is one of the countries which has played host to a significant palestinian refugees since 1948 Arab – Judaism war. Most of Palestinian refugees who were expelled from Palestine to Iraq were from Haifa north of Palestine especially from the following villages ( Ein Gazal, AJzim, Jaba’a, Al Teera, Al Tantooria , Am Al Zinat, Kafir lam, Al Mazar, Atleet, Al sarfand, ein Huth, Yafa and its villages, Ara and Arora, Al Kafrin, Al quids and Haifa ).
Here, we would like to refer that some of the population of these villages have settled in Jordan during the trip of displacement. They haven’t completed their trip to Iraq like others.
There are no accurate statistics for the number of Palestinians who came to Iraq during 1948 – 1950, but our source refer that they were about 5000. Also there are no accurate statistics for the Palestinian refugee community in Iraq but most policy maker including UNHCR and the Iraqi authorities , estimated the pre – 2003 war Palestinian refugee population of Iraq at 34000.
The Palestinian refugee population in Iraq can be roughly divided into four groups: Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled during the 1948-49 Arab- Judaism conflict; Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled during the 1967 conflict; Palestinians who fled or were expelled from Kuwait and other Gulf States following the 1991 Gulf War, and a significant number of Palestinians from other Arab states who had come to work or had resettled in Iraq.
After the fall of the Iraqi government to U.S.- led forces in 2003, Palestinian refugees in Iraq became a target for violence harassment, killing , disappearance, torture and eviction from their homes. Militant groups mostly shi'a have targeted them. As s result of the new circumstance , many Iraqi Palestinians fled from Iraq . the accurate statistic for Palestinians refugees in Iraq which done by UNHCR in 2004 , estimate the Palestinian refugee population of Iraq at 23500
Palestinian refugees in Iraq have been living under very hard circumstance since 2003 . They became a target for violence , harassment and eviction from their homes . This new situation enforce many Iraqi Palestinians to leave Iraq to save themselves and their families seeking refuge in other countries.
The number of Palestinian refugees in Iraq began to decrease after the fall of Iraqi government in April 2003. There are about 10000 Palestinians live in Iraq now according to some sources.
I can reach a conclusion that Palestinians have been targeted more than other minorities, Why? This question will be answered in another article which will be written to Iraqi Palestinians Website.
By / Basheer Mahmoud Ghannam
The main source
Nowhere to Flee The Perilous Situation of Palestinians in Iraq By Human Rights Watch