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Beyond Inhumane, UN Official Describes Life in Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp in Syria

April 7, 2015 


Life in Yarmouk refugee camp beyond inhumane, says UN official Destruction in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus.


PLO Relocates 2,000 Palestinians from Yarmouk Refugee Camp


Monday April 06, 2015 23:37 by IMEMC News & Agencies


The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has moved some 2,000 Palestinians from Syria's flashpoint Yarmouk refugee camp, a PLO official said, Sunday.

World Bulletin reports, via Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, that Ahmed Magdalani, who oversees Yarmouk camp in the PLO, said that his organization was conducting an emergency plan for Palestinians inside Yarmouk, after ISIL seized parts of the camp over the past few days.

"The [PLO] plans on relocating as many residents as possible while working on facilitating the entry of food and medical supplies inside the camp," Magdalani said.

He also said that he will visit Damascus on Monday, to monitor the situation in Yarmouk from there.

Violence has flared up inside the camp, which accommodates tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees, since Wednesday when ISIL members stormed it and clashed with Aknaf Beit Al-Maqdis militant group.


Red Crescent Denounces Targeting of Medical Staff in Yarmouk


Monday April 06, 2015 23:52 by IMEMC News & Agencies


The Palestinian Red Crescent Society, Monday, condemned the targeting of one of its hospitals in Syria’s beleaguered Al-Yarmouk Refugee Camp with a missile, resulting in the injury of three of its voluntarily staff and excessive damage to the building.

WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency reports that the society, via press release, denounced the targeting of its medical staff during the ongoing conflicts in the camp, which since the start of the conflict have resulted in the death of seven staff members, including the assassination of Hamas official Yehya Horani, last week, and dozens of injury cases.

It urged all sides of the conflict to ensure the protection of civilians and to uphold their responsibilities and take all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safe access of medical staff to the victims of the conflict.

On April 4, the Palestinian Presidency Saturday urged to avoid dragging the Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk Refugee Camp in the fighting that is taking place among various armed groups.

The ‘Islamic State’ (IS) group fighters have reportedly taken control of 90% of the Palestinian refugee camp, located on Damascus’ outskirts, as gun battles have continued to rage between this group and various Palestinian groups since last Wednesday.

After being initially pushed back by various fighting groups, IS group made fresh advances since Thursday and has reportedly seized control of the square where the camp’s 18,000 residents usually gather to receive aid handouts.

Meanwhile, UNRWA denounced the events taking place in the camp, demanding “from all parties respect for and compliance with their obligations to ensure the protection of civilians in Yarmouk.”

UNRWA further demanded an end to the fighting and a return to conditions that will enable its staff to support and assist Yarmouk’s civilians. 


UN considers evacuating Yarmouk refugee camp in IS group stronghold

France 24, 2015-04-07

The United Nations Security Council said on Monday it would look at how to help some 18,000 Palestinian refugees and Syrian civilians in a camp largely taken over by the Islamic State group, including potential evacuation measures.

Pierre Krahenbuhl, head of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), briefed U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the 15-member council about Yarmouk camp on the outskirts of Damascus, just a few miles (kilometers) from President Bashar al-Assad's palace.

"What the civilians in Yarmouk are most concerned about right now is bare survival. It's as simple and straightforward as that," Krahenbuhl told reporters via video link from Jordan.

Islamic State has taken most of Yarmouk from rival groups while the Syrian army surrounds the district, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Islamic State rules swathes of Syria and Iraq and is the target of U.S.-led air strikes.

Krahenbuhl said states with influence over warring parties should push for protection of civilians and urged the council to "think about possible measures that would facilitate an orderly and safe evacuation of those who wish to leave the camp."

"That is a highly complex undertaking in an environment that is as delicate and dangerous as Yarmouk currently, but those would be concrete steps to be looked at," he said. Krahenbuhl said UNRWA had not had any contact with Islamic State militants.

The Security Council said in a statement it would "look into further measures that can be taken to help in providing the necessary protection and assistance." It called for aid access to Yarmouk and for "safe passage and evacuation of civilians."

Yarmouk activist: There is no more food or water

Yarmouk became a battleground before the siege, and has been devastated by street fighting, air attacks and shelling. The United Nations said 94 civilians had made it out on Sunday, though some 3,500 children were still trapped.

The chief Palestinian delegate at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, appealed for international help "in any form or shape" to secure a safe evacuation route for civilians out of Yarmouk.

Yarmouk was home to half a million Palestinians before the Syrian conflict began in 2011. The war has killed 220,000 people and displaced millions of Syrians.

Krahenbuhl suggested Security Council envoys visit Yarmouk because "nothing replaces seeing a situation for oneself and having to confront the realities on the ground."



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