Filippo Grandi, the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), declared on Wednesday during a visit to Syria that the two conflict has resulted in the displacement of about three-quarters of the Palestinian refugees in Syria from their camps.
In an exclusive interview with AFP news agency, Grandi said, “There are 530,000 Palestinians who were registered with the agency’s office in Syria” and that “70 to 80 per cent of them have now been displaced as a result of the conflict in the country. According to Grandi, 54,000 Palestinians fled to Lebanon, while others fled to Jordan, Egypt and other countries.
The international official who visited the Homs camp (centre) on Wednesday, which has a population of 23,000 refugees, added that “12,000 Palestinians arrived at the returning camp in Homs, coming from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus and other camps, indicating that ‘the situation is tragic”
The Commissioner-General reiterated his appeal to “the government and the armed opposition to respect the neutrality of the camps”, calling on Palestinians not to get involved in the Syrian conflict. “They are refugees in Syria, and they have to remain neutral and stay out of the conflict, otherwise they might be engaged in fighting” he said.
Grande warned that “Palestinians and Syrians alike” are suffering and complaining of forcible detention or abduction. He said, “People are afraid … there are many who have relatives of family members who have been kidnapped or detained and do not know reasons why or anything about their fate.” He considered that situation “an unacceptable and flagrant violation of human rights”.