Palestinians of Iraq suffer from deteriorating conditions

Middle East Monitor  /   January 3, 2023

Hundreds of Palestinian refugees live in difficult circumstances during the winter season in light of the rundown of services provided to them in the neighbourhood of Al-Baladiyyat in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, The Palestinian Information Centre reports.

An activist in the neighbourhood told the Palestinian Information Centre that the neighbourhood, which is located east of Al-Jaish Canal, has not witnessed any improvement in the services since 2009.

“The sewage system and the road drainage system are deteriorating,” the activist, who wished to remain anonymous, said, adding that the neighbourhood has turned into a landfill full of insects.

For his part, Jamal Abu Khalifa, a Palestinian refugee living in the neighbourhood, stressed that Palestinian refugees in the neighbourhood are marginalized at all levels, adding that services are not improved even when the activists renew their calls on the relevant governmental institutions.

To justify such negligence, the municipality of Al-Ghadeer which is responsible for the Balidiyyat neighbourhood, claims that the construction of shops and new houses resulted in changing the organizational structure of the neighbourhood.

In the middle of last March, the municipality demolished a series of shops and houses in the neighbourhood as part of a campaign to demolish the buildings that distorts the organizational structure.

After officials of the neighbourhood, in addition to Iraqi activists, appealed against the campaign, the municipality stopped it. However, it did not improve the services provided to the residents of the neighbourhood.

3,500 Palestinian refugees currently live in Iraq, mostly in Al-Baladiyyat neighbourhood. Palestinians of Iraq are not recognized as Palestinian refugees according to UNRWA and they do not receive any services or assistance from it.