Palestinian refugees suffer worse situation in Syria camp

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-1-8 22:20:44

 Palestinian refugees are suffering worse situation in Syria that a total of 30 of them have lost their lives over the past three months as a result of hunger and illness in the Yarmouk Camp in the capital Damascus, according to Khaled Abdul-Majid of the Damascus-based Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF).

"We have received the names of 30 Palestinians who died in the Yarmouk Camp in Damascus over the past three months as a result of hunger, illness and lack of medical treatment," Khaled Abdul-Majid, secretary of the PPSF, told Xinhua in interview.

The Syrian forces have imposed months-long siege on the Yarmouk Camp, the main residence place for Palestinian refugees in Syria, blocking the entry of food and other medical stuffs to force the rebels to leave the area, after Islamist rebel groups stormed the camp earlier last year and entrenched there.

Reports said that remnants of Hamas fighters were fighting alongside the rebels in the Yarmouk camp, a claim Hamas repeatedly denied despite strong accusations by many parties on ground.

Still, people in the camp have found themselves caught in the middle of the fighting and paid steep prices for the battles there. They urged the Jihadist groups to leave the camp in order for the government troops to break the siege and allow in relief aid.

"The Syrian army has been besieging the camp according to its plan to prevent the entry of any materials to the rebel groups inside the camp. And the trapped people, whether Syrians or Palestinians, are paying the price for such measures but the army held the armed rebel groups inside the camp as responsible for the situation because they reject to leave," Abdul-Majid said.

The Yarmouk camp is a large district in southern Damascus that houses around one million people, only 170,000 of them are Palestinians.

When the violence started creeping toward the camp in early 2013, many of its residents whether Syrians or Palestinians left their homes to places inside Damascus or in neighboring Lebanon.

There have been many initiatives recently by the Damascus-based Palestinian factions to neutralize the camp and keep it out of the Syrian conflict, he said, accusing certain rebel groups inside the camp of thwarting such initiatives out of their rejection to leave the camp, which the rebels deem as their gate to enter Damascus.

Syria's 500,000 Palestinian refugees have tried to keep a distance from the violence that has stormed areas next door, but Syria's civil conflict did not spare them untouched.

Most of the Palestinian refugees fled to Syria in 1948 following the establishment of Israel. They came from northern Palestine, namely the cities of Safad, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias, and Nazareth.

Posted in: Mid-East

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