PNA calls on Israel to evacuate more Palestinians from Libya

19:17, February 24, 2011      

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A Palestinian official on Thursday called upon Israel to let more Palestinians return from Libya to the West Bank, after Israel approved the return of only 300 people.

Hussein Al-Sheikh, minister of civil affairs, said that the Israeli government's decision to allow the return of the 300 "is welcomed though it is insufficient."

The number of Palestinian refugees in Libya is estimated at 20, 000.

"The Israeli approval must be an initial step that would be followed with more steps," Al-Sheikh said, adding that "the life of Palestinians there is endangered."

Many of the Palestinians trapped in Libya don't hold Israeli- issued Palestinian identity cards enabling them to return home. Israel doesn't recognize the Palestinians who were not in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip when it occupied the two territories in 1967.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is contacting Arab and Western governments to evacuate more Palestinians from Libya, Al- Sheikh said. The Palestinians would be evacuated through Tunisia and Egypt to settle either in the West Bank or Gaza.

Source: Xinhua
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