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Official: PLO seeking return of refugees to Damascus camp
Published Monday 07/01/2013 (updated) 09/01/2013 16:53
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Civilians pictured fleeing fighting in Damascus.(Reuters/file)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PLO leaders, the Free Syria Army and Syrian regime forces are in ongoing talks to finalize an agreement to allow Palestinian refugees who fled fighting in a Damascus camp to return, a PLO official said.

Anwar Abdul-Hadi, a senior PLO official in Damascus, told Ma'an late Sunday that the deal had been delayed because of several demands by the Free Syria Army.

Initial reports of an imminent agreement to end violence in Yarmouk camp and allow refugees to return were released earlier on Sunday by sources in Syria.

Abdul Hadi said that PLO representatives responsible for holding talks had rushed into announcing an agreement had been reached without having secured guarantees that Palestinian refugees could return to the camp.

PLO representatives have put forward three major demands in the negotiations. All armed groups, including Palestinian gunmen, must withdraw from the camp, food and fuel must be allowed in for residents, and the neutrality of the camp must be respected by all sides, Abdul Hadi said.

The PLO will not call for refugees to return to Yarmouk while gunmen still operate inside the camp, he added.

Six Palestinians were killed in Syria on Saturday, including a five-year-old girl in Sbeineh refugee camp, sources said Sunday. Yarmouk has been under total blockade by the Syrian army for four days, preventing the entry of fuel, food and medical supplies, they added.

In December, heavy fighting broke out in Yarmouk between Syrian rebels and the army, causing Palestinians to flee.

Syria hosts half a million Palestinian refugees, descendants of those admitted after the creation of Israel in 1948.
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1 ) why not return to the HOMELAND / THE STATE OF
07/01/2013 15:31
PALSTEIN?! it has stamps now.

2 ) Reader / from Edmonton
07/01/2013 18:07
What was the so-called Syrian Free Army doing in a Palestinian refugee camp in the first? These people are under UN protection as a result of illegal Israeli actions. The 'SFA' has no business involving these protected non-combatants. Don't the Palestinians have enough problems without the 'SFA' committing these war crimes?

3 ) Tibi / Tubas
07/01/2013 18:11
Instead of "seeking a return of refugees to the Damascus camp", the
PLO should be seeking a return of refugees to Palestine, and a new camp
for them in Area A or Gaza, where Palestinians already have real sovereignty !!

4 ) Reader / from Edmonton
07/01/2013 18:23
America, do the right thing. You are sponsoring this hodgepodge assortment of Al-Qaeda and other mercenary groups invading the Palestinian refugee camps. Call off your dogs and facilitate the return of these refugees to their homeland. Palestine is a legal state and the proper place for these people.

5 ) @ "Homeland"-1 / Reality
07/01/2013 20:42
1- THE ANSWER is simple, as to "why not return to" Israel or the West Bank,
since any sovereign state can required non-citizens to obtain visas to visit,
and 4th genartion Palestinians, of parents that never "set-foot" in Israel,
or held Israeli citizenship will not be granted a visa, but
2- They could "return to the HOMELAND, STATE OF PALSTEIN,"
into the Gaza Governate, either via an Egyptian border crossing, or via a smuggling tunnel.

6 ) @ Reader-4 / TRUTH
07/01/2013 20:58
You tell only half the Truth about PALESTINE, where though
-a- The First half of the Truth is that "Palestine is a legal state",
-b- The Second half of the Truth is that true Palestinian sovereignty
EXISTS ONLY IN AREA A & GAZA, and thus
-c- Area A and Gaza are "the proper places for these people", but
Palestine's government must negotiate for these people to obtain visas,
to cross Israeli controlled lands, just to reach any West Bank lands !!!


7 ) Reader / from Edmonton
08/01/2013 02:30
"...to cross Israeli controlled lands..."? Then you do admit that these are Palestinian lands under belligerent occupation. Solution: Israel needs to choose to end its invasion of Palestine.

8 ) Reader / from Edmonton
08/01/2013 02:38
Speak to truth. UN registered Palestinian refugees are Palestinian. They include the original inhabitants dispersed by Israeli armed action and their descendants kept from returning to their homes by the Israeli belligerent occupation.

9 ) Reader / from Edmonton
08/01/2013 02:52
Investing heavily in occupied Palestine is not a wise strategy unless you are Palestinian. Chutzpah is not legal entitlement. Israel's legal position is tied to the conventions it has signed during its declaration of statehood, and its UN membership. No legal Israel exists outside its 1947 partition borders except as an occupier of foreign land. No legal annexation of land outside those borders is valid unless agreed to by the original inhabitants. Cards on the table.

10 ) Mel / USA
08/01/2013 18:02
Ma'an??? You're censoring intellectual comment again! I've sent in various posts with criticism for all sides.Why are you censoring SO MUCH re:SYRIA?? You are supposed to be IMPARTIAL & ready to transmit the views of the WORLD regarding this orchestrated crisis in Syria which effects Palestine/Palestinian refugees,TOO! By not posting all fair,critical,debate,you show your PARTIALITY,which undermines you! Tut!Tut!

11 ) Palestinian Leaders Refuse To / Help Syrian Refugees
08/01/2013 18:22
Palestinian Leaders Refuse To Help Syrian Refugees Palestinian leaders, who court international sympathy by portraying their people as displaced victims of Israel, are refusing to help tens of thousands of their brethren who have been routed from homes and refugee camps in neighboring Syria.

12 ) Call me cynical, but something / tells me their not wanted
08/01/2013 21:16
Lets face it, the only thing the Pal leadership is concerned with is the loss of a propaganda tool that would result from these refugees being given homes in the new 'Palestinian State'. There can be no other reason for not taking them in. The UN will still pay the bills and could transport them via Jordan or Egypt, so arguments involving Israeli borders are all obviously BS. This crisis is stripping off the facade and revealing the true nature of Pal leadership.

13 ) gabi / australia
09/01/2013 02:21
to all those who suggest Palestine should take in the Palestinian refugees from Syria - are you serious? Do you really imagine Israel would permit more Palestinians in the occupied territories? They are doing their best to get rid of as many as they can. They already decry the natural increase through the birth rate as being a threat to the "Jewish state" so they are hardly going to allow the population to be increased so rapidly. If Israel is so humanitarian, then they can take them in!

14 ) Reader / from Edmonton
09/01/2013 04:14
Bring the Palestinian refugees in Syria across the Allenby bridge to settle in the Jordan Valley. Now if we can just rid ourselves of those violent occupation forces and illegal Israeli invaders.

15 ) Reader / from Edmonton
09/01/2013 04:27
More than 486,000 from Syria alone. Is Israel ready to leave Palestine? Move out. Our people are coming home.
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