Last Palestinian Refugee Group Resettled in Brazil

xxx The last group of a total of close to 100 Palestinian refugees who lived in Iraq, but had to flee to the Jordanian desert, have arrived in Brazil. The 25 refugees are being settled in the southeastern state of São Paulo and in Rio Grande do Sul state, in the Brazilian South.

Another group of 36 had arrived earlier this month after the first 35 Palestinians who came to Brazil in September. All of them were sent by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The refugees had spent four years in tents in the Ruweished camp, in Jordan, where they had to endure the desert's extreme cold and hot temperatures after having escaped Iraq's Shiite militias.

They were targeted by the Shiites in Iraq after the 2003 US invasion since they were Sunnis and seen as a privileged group. Former president Saddam Hussein was also a Sunni.

The Brazilian government will offer the Palestinian refugees financial help for two years as well as Portuguese classes. They will also be receiving accommodations and medical care.

The refugee agency says Jordan's Ruweished camp, where the refugees lived, will be shut down in the coming weeks.

According to UN data, about 15,000 Palestinians still live in Iraq. It's estimated that at least 186 of them were murdered in the last few years.

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