Fatah official: Yarmouk siege to be lifted Monday
Published Sunday 12/01/2014 (updated) 13/01/2014 15:05
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Fatah official said that the siege on Syria's Yarmouk refugee camp would be lifted on Monday.
Central Committee Member Mohammad Shtayyeh said Sunday that Palestinian sources in Yarmouk told him the siege would be lifted on Monday, without providing further details.
Also Sunday, a delegation led by Shtayyeh and the Palestinian ambassador to Jordan visited a refugee camp in Jordan.
Shtayyeh said the delegation provided financial support to over 400 Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Cyber City refugee camp near Irbid.
"We listened to their problems, and gave them a letter from our people in Palestine saying that we aim to ease the pain and suffering of our brothers who have been displaced two or three times."
The aid was a result of coordination with the Palestinian embassy in Jordan, he said.
The delegation also visited Zaatari camp, which holds 150,000 Syrian refugees, Shtayyeh said.
Shtayyeh praised Jordan for "providing for the needs of refugees."
On Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 43 Palestinians had died in Yarmouk camp as a result of starvation and medicine shortages throughout the past three months.
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.
Fatah leader Abbas Zaki told Ma'an in mid-October that Yarmouk's population of 250,000 had dwindled to 18,000 after two and a half years of conflict in Syria.
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.
More than 760,000 Palestinians -- estimated today to number 4.8 million with their descendants -- were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict surrounding Israel's creation in 1948.