Tuesday, May 25, 2010

UAE bars 200 Gaza Palestinians from re-entering

Kish, an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf, halfway Iran and the UAE.

Two hundred Gaza residents were denied re-entry into the UAE and are presently stranded on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf, they told Ma'an on Monday. "We endure complicated and disastrous living conditions as most the young people can't afford to pay for hotel fees or food," said Hammouda Abu Rida, a Gaza resident currently stranded on the Iranian island.
He and 200 Gaza residents are seeking permanent residency status in the UAE, but were denied entry upon arrival, despite many of them holding contracts with UAE firms. Those currently stranded wre holdesr of temporary permits. They were told to leave the UAE by their employers and would be issued with a permanent residency visa upon their arrival, due to their official work status.

It is not the first time the UAE takes measure like that. Also in August and September 2009 some hundreds of Palestinians, also from Gaza, had been forced to leave. At the same time Lebanese Shi'ites living in the UAE had either not been granted re-entry or had been asked to leave, Reuters reported at the time. It was thought that the expulsion had to do with fears for fundamentalist influences of the UAE rulers. Lebanese sources mentioned that some hundreds of Shi'ite Lebanese had been asked to spy on Hezbollah. UAE sources denied the reports about expulsions.

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