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Qatar: Current information on the treatment of Palestinians

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 September 1994
Citation / Document Symbol QAT18334.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Qatar: Current information on the treatment of Palestinians, 1 September 1994, QAT18334.E, available at: [accessed 23 October 2017]
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.


A representative of Middle East Watch in New York provided the following information on the above subject during a telephone interview on 1 September 1994.

During the Persian Gulf War (August 1990 to March 1991), the Qatari government implemented a policy of mass expulsion of Palestinians residing in Qatar. The main targets of expulsion were Palestinians holding government positions, working for security forces or employed in the oil industry. During the period March 1991 to spring 1993, the Qatari government adopted a "selective expulsion policy" through "attrition" toward Palestinians residing in that country. During this period the work permits of targeted Palestinians were not renewed. This action forced the affected Palestinians to leave Qatar. The representative explains that Palestinians, including those born in Qatar, are not entitled to either permanent residence or citizenship in Qatar, and can reside there only so long as they have employment.

The representative maintains that the relationship between Palestinians and the Qatari government has improved somewhat since the spring of 1993. After a period of severed relations the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) re-established relations with the Qatari government and since this time there have been no reported cases of deportation.

The attached Independent article refers to the expulsion of "scores of Palestinians, including prominent members of the [PLO], in apparent retaliation for the group's support of Iraq in the Gulf crisis" (5 Sept. 1990). The article adds that most of the deported Palestinians "held senior positions in the Qatari government and some were wealthy businessmen" (ibid.).

According to the attached Reuters report, by sending a senior official to Qatar in December 1992, the PLO initiated a process of normalization of relations with the Qatari governmnet (26 Dec. 1992). Without providing details, the report refers to the favourable response of Qatar and Oman to PLO initiatives to improve bilateral relations with the Arab Persian Gulf states (ibid.).

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


The Independent [London]. 5 September 1990. "Crisis in the Gulf: Qatar Expels PLO Members." (NEXIS)

Middle East Watch, New York. 1 September 1994. Telephone interview with representative.

Reuters. 26 December 1992. BC Cycle. "PLO Mends Some Gulf Arab Ties." (NEXIS)


The Independent [London]. 5 September 1990. "Crisis in the Gulf: Qatar Expels PLO Members." (NEXIS)

Reuters. 26 December 1992. BC Cycle. "PLO Mends Some Gulf Arab Ties." (NEXIS)

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