Lisa Gillian of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has announced that about 100,000 Palestinians have fled from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria due to the recent clashes. The UN official said that “people are still fleeing”.
The Yarmouk refugee camp was home to 150,000 Palestinians, but two-thirds have now left the camp on the outskirts of Damascus. That is, though, an estimate, said Gillian. Almost 3,000 have gone to Lebanon and another 2,000 are on the way, she added, most of them women and children.
Dozens have held a demonstration in front of the UNRWA headquarters for Lebanon in Beirut, urging the Agency to provide them with accommodation.
Others have taken refuge in UNRWA schools and offices but the Agency admits that it does not know where “the bulk” of the refugees have gone.
Gillian called on the parties involved in the conflict in Syria to respect the neutrality of the Palestinians, and requested other countries in the region “not to expel Palestinian refugees”.
One of the activists in Yarmouk, who identified himself as Rasim, told AFP via Skype that the camp “is almost empty of its population” after violence forced thousands of its residents to resort to public parks and squares in Damascus in the absence of money to rent somewhere to stay.