In 1948, when Israel ethnically cleansed 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and razed 500 Palestinian villages, Palestinian refugees fled to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The size of the refugee population in these countries has grown over the years due to Israel's refusal to abide by international law and allow Palestinian refugees the right of return to their homeland. Since the war in Syria began, Palestinian refugees like the rest of the population have been at risk.
According to a statement by UNRWA on Dec 17, “of the 540,000 Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Syria, about 270,000 are displaced in the country, and an estimated 80,000 have fled. 51,000 have reached Lebanon, 11,000 have identified themselves in Jordan, 5,000 are in Egypt, and smaller numbers have reached Gaza, Turkey and farther afield".
300 patients from the camp to receive medical treatment, snipers from the Assad Syrian government opened fired at them, injuring the director of a relief committee Fuad al-Omar.
The Syrian government, Israel and the international community are responsible for the plight of the refugees in Syria. Now more than ever we need to demand the right of return for not only the refugees in Syria, but all Palestinian refugees to their homeland.
It is imperative that Palestine solidarity activists, human rights activists and refugee rights activists in Australia and around the world, raise their voices in support of the refugees in Yarmouk and publicly call for an immediate end to the siege being imposed on the camp and for food and medicine to be allowed into the camp and for the safe evacuation of all those in need of medical care.
For more information about the situation in Yarmouk, please see Ramzy Baroud's excellent article at Palestine Chronicle. You can access it by clicking here.
In solidarity, Kim