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Sunday, 16 December 2012

Syria bombs Palestinian refugees

PRESS RELEASE: Statement by UNRWA on today's events in Yarmouk camp, Syria

UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi has appealed to the Syrian
authorities, and all parties to the conflict, to safeguard the security of
Palestine refugees wherever they reside in Syria. Grandi's appeal takes on
an urgent nature following today's events.


STATEMENT BY UNRWA ON TODAY'S EVENTS IN YARMOUK CAMP, SYRIA

UNRWA PRESS RELEASE / For immediate release

Horrific images captured by news agencies, and reports of numerous
casualties and the flight of Palestine refugees from Yarmouk camp are being
followed up and assessed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
(UNRWA) with extreme worry and grave concern.

Initial reports indicate that air strikes hit the centre of Yarmouk, and the
camp is said to be in a chaotic state; with ongoing fighting in the southern
parts of the camp inching north-wards, and reports coming in of families
trying to escape on foot as cars and other forms of transportation are not
able to move within the camp.

UNRWA has repeatedly warned that if all parties to the Syrian armed conflict
fail to fulfil their obligations to protect Palestine refugees and respect
their neutrality, the consequences would be devastating and long lasting.
The Agency has advocated to maintain the neutrality of the 525,000 Palestine
refugees in Syria and not implicate them in the conflict. The horrible
events of today raise serious questions about the stability and protection
of the Palestine refugees in Syria.

Thus far, a significant number of Palestine refugees, as well as Syrians,
have been killed, injured and compelled to leave. The killings in Yarmouk
today send a clear and unfortunate signal that calls by UNRWA and others on
all parties to spare civilians and to respect the neutrality of Palestine
refugees are going unheeded.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi has appealed to the Syrian
authorities, and all parties to the conflict, to safeguard the security of
Palestine refugees wherever they reside in Syria. Grandi's appeal takes on
an urgent nature following today's events.

The Agency will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves, and its
dedicated staff will continue to assess the situation and render any needed
assistance.

--Ends--

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