Lebanon Recognizes Palestinian State

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CBNNews.com - BEIRUT, Lebanon - The Lebanese government will grant full diplomatic relations to the "state of Palestine," which includes raising the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Beirut to full embassy status.

Lebanese Information Minister Tariq Mitri announced the decision, without specifying a date.

According to some analysts, Lebanon's decision is meant to bolster the standing of Palestinian Authority (PA ) President and PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas.

"He is facing tough times," American University of Beirut political science professor Hilal Khashan told The Media Line.

"There is a split in the Fatah movement and there's a running battle between Fatah and the Hamas in Gaza," he said.

According to Khashan, the 400,000 so-called Palestinian refugees who live there are not treated fairly by the government.

"What is needed is a change in a series of Lebanese laws that bar Palestinians from employment in Lebanon," he said. "They are not allowed to work in significant professions beyond manual labor. This is what lies at the heart of the problem," he said.

"The Palestinians are treated as non-entities in Lebanon and have no rights whatsoever. I believe there is a deliberate effort by the Lebanese government to keep their situation sub-human so they will never contemplate seeking permanent residency in the country," Khashan said.

The descendents of the estimated 650,000 Arabs who left Israel before or during the 1948 War of Independence were denied resettlement in the surrounding Arab nations where they've lived for the past 60 years.

Source: The Media Line

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