UNRWA calls on all sides in Syria not to take up positions in refugee campsListen /
The UN agency assisting Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), has called on all sides in the conflict in Syria to refrain from taking up positions in or conducting the conflict in civilian areas.
A statement released from the Agency's headquarters in Jerusalem appealed to the parties "to ensure the protection of Palestine refugees, other civilians and their property and to comply with their obligations under international law".
The UNRWA statement called for respect for "the sanctity of human life" and it said that there was a "duty to avoid arbitrary displacement of civilians", stressing that "the integrity, inviolability and neutrality of United Nations premises, vehicles and other assets must be respected and safeguarded by all."
According to the statement, UNRWA is particularly concerned about the unrelenting and escalating conflict and its devastating impact on Palestine refugees in all areas of Syria. The Agency says its concerns are deepening with reports of serious incidents which continue to occur, including in areas under the control of armed opposition elements.
In mid-December 2012, the conflict saw intense armed engagements inside Yarmouk, a suburb south of Damascus, which was home to over 150,000 Palestine refugees.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.