Lebanese Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil has slammed an alleged U.S. plan to “resettle” Palestinian refugees in neighboring Arab states, Lebanese daily Al-Joumhouria reported Thursday.
Bassil’s remarks came in response to a tweet two days earlier by Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, in which the latter welcomed an alleged plan by U.S. President Donald Trump to “resettle Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq”.
In his tweet, Katz did not provide any additional details regarding the alleged U.S. proposal.
Speaking to Al-Joumhouria on Thursday, Bassil stressed his country’s rejection of any such plan.
“Even if the entire world accepted resettlement [of Palestinian refugees], we would reject it,” he was quoted as saying.
“Like we defeated Israel by expelling its occupation [from Southern Lebanon in 2000], we will defeat its resettlement project,” the foreign minister asserted.
“The ‘right of return’ is sacrosanct,” Bassil added, referring to the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
Lebanon is currently home to roughly 590,000 Palestinian refugees (out of some five million worldwide), according to official Lebanese figures.