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Dozens gather for Yarmouk solidarity rally in Gaza
Published Saturday 11/01/2014 (updated) 12/01/2014 18:21
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(MaanImages)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Dozens of activists rallied in Gaza City on Saturday to show solidarity with Palestinian refugees in Syria's besieged Yarmouk camp.

Protestors gathered in front of the International Red Cross Committee office, holding signs calling for an end to the deadly blockade imposed on the camp.

Demonstrators delivered speeches urging the rally, urging militant groups to implement an agreement previously agreed upon to leave Yarmouk.

"The agreement included withdrawal of militants from the refugee camp, ending the siege, and allowing food products into the camp," said Mahmoud al-Ziq, a member of the politburo of the Popular Struggle Front.

Al-Ziq spoke out against Palestinian factions that have taken sides in the Syrian conflict, advocating instead for neutrality.

He also urged Syrian government and the international community to provide humanitarian aid to Yarmouk.

Similarly, a spokesperson for a Gaza-based NGO said humanitarian aid convoys should be sent to the camp to ease the suffering of its residents, who he said have been living under siege for 180 days.

"We want a fundamental solution (for the) refugees who are dying of hunger," said Abd al-Karim al-Banna from the Center of Humanitarian Communication.



The people of Yarmouk should not be punished for what is going on in Syria, poet Rihab Kanaan said.

"Refugees have nothing to do with what is going on," Kanaan said.

She added: "Our (question) to the Arab and Islamic nations and the free people of the world is how long will this silence continue?"

After rebels seized control of Yarmouk in December 2012, the camp became embroiled in the armed fighting taking place across Syria and came under heavy regime assault.

Regime forces eventually encircled the camp and in July imposed a siege on the camp, leading to a rapid deterioration of living conditions.

The blockade has caused 41 Palestinian refugees to die of hunger and lack of medical supplies over the past three months, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Syrian conflict, which began as peaceful protests in March 2011 but developed into a civil war, has killed more than 130,000 people and prompted millions to flee their homes.
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1 ) Malone / Hfx
11/01/2014 19:51
Why don't these "dozens" of concerned activists go to Yarmouk to protest? Too dangerous maybe?
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