BEIRUT: Lebanese refugees in Israel reportedly threatened to resort to international courts if the government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati failed to grant them amnesty.
A report published Tuesday by pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat said the few hundred Lebanese families residing in Israel since the end of the 1990 Civil War have threatened to sue the Mikati government if they are not “honorably repatriated.”
“We will give them two months, until year’s end, after which we will resort to international courts to demand amnesty and to guarantee our financial and moral rights if our repatriation did not take place in an honorable way,” said a letter issued by Lebanese refugees in Israel.
The letter, Al-Hayat said, had been sent to Mikati, President Michel Sleiman and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
Parliament last week passed a draft law facilitating the return of Lebanese who fled to Israel in the wake of its withdrawal from south Lebanon in May 2000.
Under the urgent draft law, which was submitted by MPs from Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement, Lebanese who joined the South Lebanon Army – an Israeli-allied militia that operated in southern Lebanon during the Civil War – or collaborated with it would be arrested by Lebanese authorities on the border upon their return and tried under Lebanese law.
Fearing retribution for the SLA’s cooperation with Israel, some 6,500 Lebanese left for Israel, where they received residency, eventual citizenship, and some financial support.
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2011/Nov-08/153344-lebanese-in-israel-give-mikati-cabinet-ultimatum-report.ashx#ixzz1d8S77c8M
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)