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The Golan with Mount Hermon in the background
Photo by Rhonda Spivak

Fighting and Shelling in UNWRA Palestinian refugee camp in Yarmouk Syria-

T. C. Bratvold, Middle East Correspondent, March 3, 2013

March 3 2013-In the  Palestinian  refugee camp in  Yarmouk in southern Damascus, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)  appears to be not  able to alleviate either the lack of security or the starvation allegedly going on in the camp in spite of the large amounts of money, supplies, and international support UNRWA receives.


Fighting and shelling in the Palestinian Yarmouk camp ended a week-long truce Sunday. According to the UN at least 20,000 people have been trapped in the camp for months.


 The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the fighting broke out betweel the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of :Palestine) and the al-Nusra Front. (l-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra  which  is a branch of  Al-Qaeda operating in Syria and Lebanon


Interesting enough, The US Justice Department recently removed Abu Mohammad al-Julani, head of the al-Nusra Front, the branch of al-Qaeda fighting against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, from its most wanted terrorist list, the report said.  Only a few months ago in December 2013, Washington had blacklisted the Al-Nusra Front for taking responsibility for most of the terrorist bombings in Syria.


Mokhtar Lamani, Damascus representative of U.N. and Arab League Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, has submitted a request to the United Nations to resign.  Lamani was deeply disappointed with the failure of peace talks in Geneva in January and February.


During the months of January and February three Palestinians from Al-Yarmouk refugee camps in Damascus were proclaimed dead , and one of them was killed under torture, according to A Tahrir News , a privately own daily published in Egypt.


A Palestinian action group in Syria stated that 27-year-old Mohamed Bahtaiti, a refugee from Al-Yarmouk camp, was tortured to death by  Syrian security, pointing out that he was kidnapped one year ago at a checkpoint in the camp.


The group added that two elderly persons, man and woman, died of hunger and lack of medical care because of the tight blockade imposed by the Syrian regime and its militias on Al-Yarmouk camp.


The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which runs 20 elementary schools, eight prep schools, three health care centers which have been recently upgraded with contributions from the government of the United States, Australia, Canada, Spain and the Netherlands seems not to be able to alleviate either the security situation or the starvation allegedly going on in the camp . This is the case in spite of the large amounts of money, supplies, and international support UNRWA receives.


It does not seem that the donor nations have been on the scene to oversee the situation, first hand.


T. C. Bratvold

Middle East Correspondent

The Winnipeg Jewish Review

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