Palestinian boy Abdallah Abu Soueid carries haytaliya sweets in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh, Tuesday, March 10, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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In an alleyway in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh, coffee vendor Abu al-Gadab clicks together his cups. He has just received news that seven residents of the camp were aboard a migrant boat that capsized off the Italian coast Monday. Emigration is not new to the Palestinian refugees of Lebanon. Following the 1948 Nakba, thousands of Palestinians who had fled or been forced from their homes sought shelter in Lebanon. Escaping this reality is a dream for many Palestinians, and their hope of returning to their own land seems increasingly far-fetched.As refugees were unable to be provided with financial and social support, even more camp residents began to consider emigration.At a social center that works with Palestinian refugee children, Mona Mohammad sits anxiously. There has been no news of her brother, Mahmoud, one of the camp's residents on board. Mohammad hopes that she hears from her brother soon, and says he may have been hit in the head.Residents in the camp say they hold the Lebanese government and the Palestinian factions, particularly the joint elite force which controls security in Ain al-Hilweh, responsible for investigating the traffickers.
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