Prime Minister Saad Hariri told MPs he would ask the labor minister to submit a plan to simplify the work permit application process for Palestinian refugees, as protests and a general strike continued Thursday.
Palestinians have been protesting since Monday against Labor Minister Camille Abousleiman's crackdown on undocumented foreign labor, saying it unfairly targets them.
Abousleiman said Wednesday that he would announce measures to simplify work permit applications for Palestinians Thursday evening, including an exemption from enrollment in social security, which is a current stipulation for obtaining a permit.
But Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told MPs Thursday morning that he wanted to tell Abousleiman not to wait until the evening, but instead announce the measures immediately in order to defuse the tension.
Hariri then said he would ask the Abousleiman to send his plan to Cabinet so the ministers could decide on it. “And this way the minister would not alone take the responsibility,” Hariri said.
Berri and Hariri spoke after Hezbollah MP Ali Ammar raised the issue during a Parliament session held to discuss the draft 2019 state budget Thursday.
In an attempt to defuse tensions, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also sent an envoy to Beirut.
Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, met General Security head Abbas Ibrahim Thursday morning after arriving in Beirut Wednesday night, according to local media.
Ahmad said Thursday that there should not be a crisis in Palestinian refugee camps and called on residents to remain calm as they continued a general strike, the state-run National News Agency reported.
“The factions gathered here today in the Palestinian Embassy in Lebanon agreed on freezing the camps’ activities,” Ahmad said, according to the Quds News Agency.
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