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Israel allows in 41 Iraqi refugees

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Israel is allowing 41 Iraqi Palestinians to resettle in the West Bank.

The move is being made as a goodwill gesture to the newly appointed Palestinian Authority prime minister, Salam Fayyad, according to Israel’s daily Ha’aretz, which first reported the decision that has since been confirmed by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. Another 10 Iraqis of Palestinian descent who had petitioned for entry into the Gaza Strip were denied, the report said.

Sources in Jerusalem cautioned that the decision to allow the Iraqi Palestinians to reunite with their families in the West Bank should not be interpreted as a precedent-setting decision granting Palestinian refugees a “right of return” to the West Bank.

Israel tightly limits Palestinian entry into the West Bank from neighboring Jordan to prevent a flood of expatriate Palestinians from returning to the disputed land.

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