UNRWA calls attention to rising number of deaths and injuries among Palestinians in Syria

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Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in the Syrian capital Damascus. Photo: IRIN/Gabriela Keller

The UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has called attention to the rising number of deaths and injuries among Palestine refugees in Syria and has repeated its grave concern about this trend.

In a statement Monday, UNRWA says credible reports indicate that on 7 February, 2013, 12 Palestine refugees were killed and many others injured in Yarmouk, a suburb of Damascus, as the armed conflict continues to rage there.

The agency says five of those killed were members of the same family, noting that many of the casualties were reportedly caused by the use of heavy weapons.

It points out that these latest deaths mark the end of a particularly tragic week for Palestine refugees in Syria, with an estimated total of 30 killed, most of them in Damascus and Rif Damascus.

UNRWA has highlighted the crisis of large numbers compelled to leave the refugee camps in Rif Damascus to seek safety elsewhere, and the plight of those who remain in the camps. It says Palestine refugees are unable to move safely; are subject to severe movement restrictions and face escalating threats from shelling and armed clashes.

To help address what it describes as "this grave humanitarian situation", UNRWA reiterates its demand that all sides comply with their obligations under international law, refrain from conducting the armed conflict in civilian residential areas, and take steps to ensure the protection of Palestine refugees and other civilians across Syria. UNRWA also maintains its strong appeal to all sides to make genuine efforts to resolve their differences through political dialogue.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’29″

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