Armed group 'enters Yarmouk' in violation of deal
Published Sunday 02/03/2014 (updated) 09/03/2014 11:04
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The al-Nusra Front has re-positioned itself within Syria's Yarmouk camp, a leader of a Palestinian faction in Syria said in a statement Sunday.
Hussam Arafat, a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command, said in a statement that the al-Qaeda-associated al-Nusra Front had stationed itself in a building in the Yarmouk's al-Reeja square.
Arafat said al-Nusra militants had occupied al-Reeja square and al-Thalatheen street in the center of the camp and were deployed in several other areas.
He warned that al-Nusra Front's presence in the camp amounted to a "dangerous escalation" that prevented humanitarian aid from entering the camp and made it impossible for sick patients to leave.
Palestinian factions in Syria are holding extensive meetings to deal with the issue, Arafat said.
In a separate statement, the al-Nusra Front confirmed its presence in the camp.
All non-Palestinian militant factions agreed to leave Yarmouk on Feb. 11 in a deal to allow humanitarian aid to the camp, whose residents were dying of hunger and disease.
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.