Last Updated: Friday, 27 November 2015, 12:04 GMT

Qatar: Information on the treatment of Palestinians in Qatar during and after the Gulf War

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 November 1991
Citation / Document Symbol QAT9786
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Qatar: Information on the treatment of Palestinians in Qatar during and after the Gulf War, 1 November 1991, QAT9786, available at: [accessed 30 November 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


Information regarding the treatment of Palestinians in Qatar during the Gulf War is currently not available to the IRBDC. However, some information on the subject before the outbreak and after the Gulf War is available.

According to a Middle East Watch researcher, in September 1990, Palestinians employed in the army and other "sensitive" government positions (including Palestinians employed in the state-owned oil industry) had their employment contracts suspended and some were deported (20 Nov. 91). According to The Independent, "most of those deported held senior positions in the Qatari government and some were wealthy businessmen" (5 Sept. 1991). Since residence permits are conditional to having an employment contract, the Palestinians affected saw their residence permits revoked and therefore were not permitted to remain in Qatar beyond one month of the expiry date of their working visas (Middle East Watch, 20 Nov. 1991).

 The Jerusalem Post reported that

relations between the Palestinians and their host governments have deteriorated steadily, starting with Qatar's decision to deport the Palestinian `ambassador' as well as members of the Palestinian National Council, who were given 48 hours to leave. All in all, over 70 families were ordered to leave, out of some 14,000 Palestinians living and working in Qatar (12 Sept. 1991).

According to the above-mentioned Middle East Watch researcher, representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) were branded personas non gratas and were expelled from Qatar at the time the PLO showed its support for Iraq ( 20 Nov. 1991)

According to the Chicago Tribune:

[Since the] Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat has aligned himself with Iraq... that... may have a lasting effect on relations between the PLO and its biggest financial backers - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich gulf Arab countries. One of those countries, Qatar, was reported to be expelling scores of Palestinians - including government officials and prominent members of the PLO - in apparent retaliation for the groups support of Iraq (7 Sept. 1991).

According to the Middle East Watch expert on the Gulf states, after September 1991, the Qatari authorities began to implement a "subtle" policy of not renewing the work contracts of Palestinians employed in the private sector and others employed in lower ranking government positions (20 Nov. 1991). Since September 1990, Qatar has limited employment opportunities of Palestinians it considers to occupy positions which may threaten national security (Ibid.).

Further information on the above subject could not be found among the sources currently unavailable to the IRBDC.


The Chicago Tribune. 7 September 1990. "Resentment Festers as Kuwaitis Accuse Palestinians of Betrayal."

The Independent. 20 November 1990. "Crisis in the Gulf: Qatar expels PLO members."

The Jerusalem Post. 12 September 1990. "Palestinians Paying Heavily for Iraq's Invasion."

Middle East Watch. New York. 20 November 1991. Telephone Interview with a Representative.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

Search Refworld