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PM Allows 300 Libyan Arabs to 'Return' to Judea, Samaria

Hundreds of Arabs from Libya will be allowed to seek refuge in Judea and Samaria. Netanyahu: This isn't the 'right of return.'
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/23/2011, 9:37 PM / Last Update: 2/23/2011, 9:58 PM

Due to the ongoing violence in Libya, 300 “Palestinian refugees” from the north African country will be allowed to seek refuge "temporarily" in Judea and Samaria. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who approved the move, said the 300 would be allowed in as a humanitarian gesture.

As far as is known, this will be the first time an Israeli leader has allowed foreign-born Arab “refugees” to live in PA-controlled regions.

Palestinian Authority officials have told Israel that the refugees are in mortal danger as long as they remain in Libya. The north African country has been wracked by violence in recent days as dictator Muammar Qaddafi battles demonstrators who are calling for an ouster similar to those in Tunisia and Egypt.

Qaddafi has vowed to “die as a martyr” rather than giving in to protesters' demands.

The hundreds of Arabs who will enter Judea and Samaria are the descendants of Arabs who fled pre-state Israel during the War of Independence. The Arab world defines any descendant of Arabs who fled Israel as a “Palestinian refugee” regardless of their place of birth.

Netanyahu assured the public that the gesture was not a sign of Israeli acceptance of the so-called “right of return” - the Arab demand that millions of “refugees” be allowed to live in Israel, Judea, and Samaria. The Libyan-born Arabs will remain in Samaria and Judea only temporarily, he said..