Palestinian refugee camp in Oslo gets respite from evacuation order

Newly appointed city councilor for the environment and communication in Oslo, Ola Elvestuen (Liberal party), has stopped an order to evacuate the Palestinian refugee camp in downtown Oslo.

The councilor says that

Must find solution. – First we want to establish a dialogue with the Palestinians who live there and find a solution based on consensus. I therefore, in collaboration with the Chair of the City Council, ordered the police to void the order to vacate the camp.

Must move. He insists that sooner or later the Palestinians must move, but says that the new City Council first must find out how to relate to the matter.

The refugee camp was built some 5 months ago by 25 Palestinian asylum seekers. Their cases have been rejected, but they cannot be returned to the West Bank apparently because they do not have documents and because there is no agreement  in place with the PA to receive returning migrants, they cannot be deported from Norway.

Quite apart from the fact that similar refugee camps erected by Ethiopian and Iranian refugees were promptly evacuated only days after their “construction” in June – now that Mahmoud Abbas has said that the Palestinians are ready for nationhood, why would they not want to return to their homes?

And why does not Abbas reach out to his citizens to ensure that they would get all the assistance necessary to reinsert themselves into the developing Palestinian national project?

But why has not the councilor in a similar manner reached out to other refugees in Oslo who live in utter squalor? Are we supposed to infer that since Ethiopians are not Palestinians, they are not worthy of the same media attention?