Ricardo Santos

Palestinian refugees from Syria started fleeing to Jordan as early as March 2011, when the conflict reached the city of Dar’a, six kilometers from the Jordanian border.[1] The history of Jordanian-Palestinian relations seems to be behind the restrictive policies toward Palestinian refugees from Syria, officially announced by the Jordanian government in January 2013, but in practice since 2012.[2] What was called by Nikita Malik as the “Black September complex” – i.e., “[m]emories of the 1970 Black September civil war between the Jordanian government and Palestinian refugee militias” – “make Jordanian authorities wary of any political activities among the Syrian refugees”,[3] including Palestinian refugees from Syria. At the same time, the fear of being taken as the “alternative land” for Palestinians appears in official justifications of such policies: Jordanian authorities told Amnesty International in June 2013 that they do not wish to harm Palestinians’ ‘right of return’” and “that Israel should bear responsibility for the plight of Palestinian refugees”.[4]

The influx of Palestinian refugees into Lebanon started in July 2012, “after a string of mortar attacks upon the Yarmouk refugee camp killed 20 people”, and increased in December 2012, “when a Syrian jet bombed a mosque and a school inside the Yarmouk refugee Camp”.1