Group: 7 Palestinians die of hunger, lack of medical care in Yarmouk
Published Tuesday 28/01/2014 (updated) 29/01/2014 10:54
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Seven Palestinian refugees who died in the past few days in the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus were identified Tuesday by a Palestinian group based in Syria.
The Workforce for Palestinians in Syria identified seven victims in a statement received by Ma'an on Tuesday, adding to dozens who have already died as a result of deteriorating conditions and widespread hunger in the camp.
The victims were identified as Saadah Hasan Khattab, Saliha Mahmoud Ineisi, Muhammad Diab Muhammad, Muhammad Ibrahim al-Bitar, Ahmad Abboud al-Mousa, Muhammad Said Jarbou and Samir Hasan Taha.
The victims died of hunger and lack of medical care in Yarmouk camp, which has been under a crippling siege for months, the statement confirmed.
The statement also mentioned the high numbers of Palestinians currently being held in detention, adding that the group's statistics show that 391 Palestinian refugees have been detained in Syria, of whom 355 are detained by the Syrian regime, and 36 by the opposition forces.
Detainees include journalists, and humanitarian activists.
Renowned Palestinian doctor Hayil Hmeid has been in custody since Aug. 11, 2012. Syrian regime security forces detained Dr. Hmeid from his private clinic.
According to the statement, 137 Palestinian refugees have died of torture in custody since the beginning of the unrest in Syria. The latest victim was 70-year-old Osama Omar Abu Hashim, an engineer and renowned human rights activist in Aleppo.
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.
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 homes in Syria due to violence in the country.
Prior to the conflict, 600,000 Palestinian refugees lived in Syria.
Between 7-800,000 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.