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UNRWA: 15 Palestinians dead from hunger in Syria camp
Published Monday 30/12/2013 (updated) 09/01/2014 16:35
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View of a street in the Yarmouk refugee camp in the Syrian capital
Damascus, on September 12, 2013 (AFP/Anwar Amro)
BEIRUT (AFP) -- At least 15 Palestinians have died of hunger since September in a besieged refugee camp in the Syrian capital Damascus, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees told AFP on Monday.

"Reports have come in over the weekend that at least five Palestinian refugees in the besieged refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus have died because of malnutrition, bringing the total number of reported cases to 15," UN Relief and Works Agency spokesman Chris Gunness told AFP.

He warned of a deteriorating situation in the camp, where some 20,000 Palestinians are trapped, with limited food and medical supplies.

"Since September 2013 we have been unable to enter the area to deliver desperately needed relief supplies," Gunness said.

"The continued presence of armed groups that entered the area at the end of 2012 and its closure by government forces have thwarted all our humanitarian efforts."

Most of the Yarmouk camp in southern Damascus is under the control of the armed opposition, and it has been under a siege by troops loyal to President Bashar Assad for around a year.

The blockade has resulted in a humanitarian crisis, and the exodus of tens of thousands of the camp's 170,000 residents.

On Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights NGO reported five people in the camp had died of malnutrition, including an elderly man, a disabled man and a woman.

UNRWA chief Filippo Grandi addressed the situation earlier this month, warning that conditions in Yarmouk had "progressively deteriorated".

"If this situation is not addressed urgently, it may be too late to save the lives of thousands of people including children," he warned.

Gunness said UNRWA was calling "all parties to immediately heed their legal obligations and facilitate the urgent provision of humanitarian assistance to Yarmuk and other Palestinian refugee camps."

Syria is officially home to nearly 500,000 Palestinian refugees, around half of whom have been displaced by the deadly conflict that broke out in March 2011, becoming refugees for a second time.

More than 126,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict.
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1 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
30/12/2013 16:28
The world would react if it weren't Palestinians. This is so sad.

2 ) Arnold / Canada
30/12/2013 18:15
Sarah # 1- It is not the whole world that needs to react. It is the Arab World that needs to react. It is them who do not care.

3 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
30/12/2013 18:28
@2 Wrong. It wasn't the Arab world who give Palestine to the zionists. The rest of the world is helping the zionists with their crimes.

4 ) Peter / Usa
30/12/2013 19:26
@sara funny how you can take the death of Palestinians in Syria and blame it on Israel , poor Palestinians having to have people like you for help!!!

5 ) Robby / USA
30/12/2013 19:42
3 ) Sarah / The Netherlands - it is the Arab world that insists on keeping them "refugees" for over 60 years. Why should someone born, lives and dies in an Arab country still be a refugee? Apartheid.

6 ) Johnny benson / USA
30/12/2013 20:04
The Arab world is in a violent ethnic..tribal..religious war open itself...this turmoil even without Israel..would be there...the Palestinians are both victims and perpetrators in this age old struggle

7 ) spb / us
30/12/2013 20:32
thanks for clarifying #3. let's talk again when the number rises to the tens of thousands.

8 ) Maureen / Australia
30/12/2013 20:45
Palestinian people world wide, deserve the right to return unheeded to Palestine! You are wrong, Arnold! Under God's rule, there is not one rule for Jews (and pretend Jews) and another rule for 'goys!!'

9 ) jenya / usa
30/12/2013 23:20
To sarah. My dear u clueless. Arabs kill arabs in syria and arabs don't help palestinians. Zionists how u like to call them actually provide food and water to palestinians and help syrians so they don't die of hungar but u activist eyes r so blind with hatred u don't see the big picture. Again remeber arabs killing arabs and not jews killing arab

10 ) Lorena / Argentina
31/12/2013 05:15
Hmmm... apparently someone didn?t read the headline (nor the content of the article)... :/

11 ) Albert / Palestine
31/12/2013 09:40
Not only Palestinians are dying of hunger because of the Opposition terrorists occupied their area, also Syrians, the terrorists steal everything including food and meds. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and turkey need to stop sending terrorists and weapons into Syria and start sending relief and food supplies.

12 ) myra / canada
31/12/2013 18:05
For all of the people who have died and who will die in Syria while the world stands to do nothing.I just have no words.

13 ) Wardah Abd Al Hadi / Oman
31/12/2013 18:36
Irrespective of how the Palestinian refugees initially got to be 'refugees' in Syria, the fact is now in 2013/14 they are trapped & starving to death. Surely this is a humanitarian crisis, & has nothing to do with 'Arab/non Arab status'. Gunness said UNRWA was calling "all parties to immediately heed their legal obligations & facilitate the urgent provision of humanitarian assistance to Yarmuk & other Palestinian refugee camps." - Muslims fast in Ramadhan, yet these people starve & die, so sad!

14 ) Robby / USA
02/01/2014 18:32
13 ) Wardah Abd Al Hadi / Oman - "Surely this is a humanitarian crisis, & has nothing to do with 'Arab/non Arab status'" - I don't agree. It is only the Arab countries that have "refugee" camps. When a Palestinian moves to a western country they are immigrants, and often they become citizens. These people should be Syrian citizens.

15 ) Mar?a / Espa?a
07/01/2014 00:44
?Por qu? tratan de negar lo evidente? Europa da nacionalidad a muchos ?rabes cada a?o, pero los pa?ses ?rabes no les dan la nacionalidad a los de origen palestino, aunque hayan nacido en el pa?s. Preg?ntense cu?ndo dinero mueve la UNRWA entre los pa?ses que tienen "refugiados palestinos"

16 ) Colin Wright / USA
08/01/2014 02:58
To Arnold #2: ' It is not the whole world that needs to react. It is the Arab World that needs to react. It is them who do not care.' ...as opposed to those loving Israelis who drove the refugees into the camps in the first place.
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