Palestinian statelessness is one of the world’s most persistent refugee crises; it goes back to 1948 when more than 750,000 Palestinians were displaced from Palestine as a result of the establishment of the state of Israel. Today more than half a million Palestinian refugees, who have resided in Syria since 1948, are reliving the trauma of their statelessness through the current Syrian conflict. The social marginalization and legal preciousness of Palestinian stateless refugees during the Syrian conflict are, in fact, examples of the limitations of the international refugee protection system which allow the exclusion of millions of refugees as they do not fit within its legal frameworks. Palestinians were never protected by the international protection regime as they have been subject to a set of legal structures that prevent them from officially accessing international refugee protection. Yet, during the current Syrian conflict, this group of refugees has experienced multiple layers of discrimination and rejections that push them to seek refuge in other destinations through life-threatening journeys. This talk addresses the particular predicament of Palestinian refugees from Syria, a predicament that powerfully reveals the political nature of the legal framework that governs stateless Palestinians.
About the speaker
Maissaa Almustafa recently defended her dissertation “Refugees from Syria Caught Between War and Borders: A Journey Towards Protection“.