GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Palestinian refugees from Syria demonstrated Monday in front of UNRWA headquarters in the Gaza Strip, protesting against the agency's "delay" in fulfilling its responsibilities towards Palestinian refugees from the conflict.
Protesters called upon UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees displaced by the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, to provide a "good and dignified life" through the provision of housing and employment for Palestinians fleeing the 31-month-old conflict in Syria.
Head of the Committee of Refugees affairs in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Shawish, said that around 1000 Palestinians who fled the conflict in Syria now endure a "difficult situation" in Gaza, where they sought refuge.
"UNRWA has not fulfilled the commitments it agreed upon previously with the committee, he added. "They only paid $125 for 2 months (to the refugees) and then it stopped."
Al-Shawish said that dozens of refugees faced the prospect of being "expelled from their homes" because they could no longer pay their rent, a fact that would compound their initial displacement from Syria due to security issues.
Protesters also called up on the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip to provide them with land so that UNRWA could build them houses there.
At least 1,500 Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing Syria conflict, and around 250,000 Palestinian refugees have been forced to leave their refugee camps in Syria due to violence in the country.
Prior to the conflict, 600,000 Palestinian refugees lived in Syria.
Around 800,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes inside Israel during the 1948 conflict that led to the creation of the State of Israel, and today their descendants number around five million, spread across the world.