Over 100,000 Palestinians fleeing violence in Syria

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UNRWA concerned about safety of Palestinian refugees in Syria

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are on the move in Syria following deadly clashes in a camp hosting the refugees in Damascus.

The Yarmuk refugee camp was bombed by Syrian war planes on Sunday following the suspected influx of rebel fighters.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) estimates that two- thirds of the 150,000 Palestinians housed in the Yarmuk refugee camp have left to seek refuge in neighbouring towns and villages.

A large number of the refugees are headed towards Lebanon.

UNRWA is appealing to all sides to respect the neutrality of the Palestinian refugees in the Syrian civil war.

Lisa Gilliam is UNRWA's Deputy Chief of Staff.

"Right now there are people still fleeing. We don’t know how many perhaps as many as 100,000. They are going to UNRWA schools and other parts of Damascus and Homs. UNRWA and its partners are working around the clock to ensure they are fed and housed, but for the most part we don’t know where they are. It’s a humanitarian crisis that is still playing itself out. So far the Palestinian flow from Syria has not been great. In terms of the dispersion, until this week we had 2,600 in Jordan, and 10,000 in Lebanon. But the events in Yarmuk will cause pressures towards the borders. We call on governments to respect the principles of Non-refoulement and equality of treatment of refugees."

Syria is host to over 530,000 Palestinian refugees.

Patrick Maigua United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1.38″

 

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