Benghazi 25 September:
The head of the Foreign Ministry’s office in Benghazi, Mohammed Al-Obeidi, met with acting Palestinian Consul in the city, . . .[restrict]Zaki Al-Qatawi, on Monday to discuss problems facing the Palestinian community living in the east of Libya. They looked at ways the conditions, including security, could be improved.
Many Benghazi Palestinians are living in straitened circumstances. There have also been reports of several of them being thrown out of their rented accommodation after it were reclaimed by the original owners.
In May, Benghazi local council decided that Palestinians in the city could register with the local consumers’ supply committees there which provide families with basic rations at subsidised prices.
The decision followed a request by the local Palestinian Social Charitable Association. It was set up earlier this year to provide support and assistance to Palestinian families resident in Libya, and to resolve any problems or disputes that may occur between them and Libyans.
Many hundreds of Palestinians are reported to have registered with the supply committees.
Until last year there were an estimated 50,000 Palestinians in Libya, a fifth of them reportedly in Benghazi. Several left during the revolution but many have since returned. It is reported that others who were living in Syria have also arrived because of the violence there.
Between 1994 and 1996, Qaddafi expelled the 30,000-strong Palestinian community following the Oslo accords.
In yesterday’s meeting, Obeidi said Palestinian-Libyan relations were profound and excellent while Qatawi expressed Palestinians readiness to help in the reconstruction of Libya.
The Deputy Director of Protocol s at the Ministry of Foreign Faraj Hassi had met earlier with Qatawi to discuss the situation of the Palestinian community and the status of the Palestinian mission in Benghazi. [/restrict]