At least 28 Palestinian refugees were killed in Syria during July as refugee camps in the country continue to be dragged into the civil war. The UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, estimates that the homes of 44,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria have been damaged by conflict, and that half of the approximately 500,000 Palestinian refugees in the country are now displaced either within Syria or in neighboring countries. An UNRWA staff member was killed in Syria in July, the seventh to have been killed in the conflict; 13 of the agency’s staff in Syria are detained or have been reported missing.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hs reportedly brokered a deal to end the fighting in Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp, the country’s biggest. After Damascus gave its approval, the proposal now awaits the agreement of the Palestinian factions at the camp. The deal apparently calls for the anti-Assad factions that have controlled the camp for a year now to cease using the camp as a base for attacks in return for security guarantees; restoration of water, electricity and other services; and an amnesty for all those camp residents who have been detained if their involvement in the fighting cannot be confirmed. (Electronic Intifada, Aug. 5; Al Bawaba, Aug. 2)
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Palestinians protest Assad at Yarmouk camp
Despite an ongoing siege of the camp by the Syrian military, Sept. 13 saw a new protest by the Palestinians of Yarmouk, outside Damascus. The protest began after Friday noon prayers outside the camp’s central mosque and ended in a march throughout the camp. Protesters stressed Palestinian-Syrian unity, and called on the armed opposition to break the siege of the camp. They also repeated calls issued under their “Breaking the Silence Campaign” for the Palestinian diaspora to speak out against the siege of the camp. (Saqet)