PA says had no choice but to reject Israel asylum claim
Published Tuesday 12/03/2013 (updated) 13/03/2013 21:44
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority defended its refusal to assist an Israeli man's request for political asylum on Monday, saying Palestine was unable to offer protection for the time being.
Adnan Dmeiri, a spokesman for the PA security forces, said Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority "is not a liberated country" and therefore unable to protect people seeking asylum.
"PA forces handed the Israeli man to the military liaison department, and we told him we were sorry we couldn't protect him as we are still under occupation," Dmeiri told Ma'an.
"We are not a country that can protect any local calling for political asylum because we still aren’t able to provide protection to any person -- we are still occupied," he said.
Dmeiri pointed out that the PA lacks even a law for granting asylum, much less a means.
"If the Israelis want him we can't oppose them and say no because we are not able to provide him a home, a job and a proper life," the official explained.
Andre Beniron surrendered himself to security forces in Tulkarem on Monday, requesting political asylum in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of the West Bank.
Beniron, 23, told Ma'an he wanted temporary protection while finding a way to leave Israel.
The young man said he immigrated to Israel from Russia 20 years ago and lived with his mother in Haifa. He was struggling to survive financially in Israel and described his life as difficult.