Abbas in talks to shelter Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria violence

BETHLEHEM December 19, 2012 (Ma’an) The UN and other countries in the region has been contacted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as an attempt to find a solution for Palestinian refugees who are currently fleeing Syrian amid fighting in a Damascus neighborhood, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Nabil Abu Rudaineh told Ma’an that Abbas wants to help the Palestinians in Syria to return to Palestine so to avoid being caught between Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebel forces. The President is thus making intensive contacts with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Arab states to help the Palestinian refugees.

So far, more than 800 Palestinians have been killed in Syria during the 21-month uprising. Syria hosts half a million Palestinian refugees, descendants of those admitted after the creation of Israel in 1948.

In Yarmouk, a suburb of Damascus, over 150,000 Palestinians as well as thousands of Syrians living in this area, have come under heavy aerial bombardment in recent days, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said Tuesday. Yarmouk constitutes the largest population center of Palestinians in Syria.

More than 1,000 Palestinian refugees crossed into Lebanon in the past 24 hours and according to residents in Damascus, hundreds of Palestinian families were trying to find shelter in the Syrian capital. UNRWA is currently housing over 2,600 displaced persons in its facilities and Damascus-area schools, and the number is growing rapidly, a UN statement said Tuesday.

The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority blamed the Syrian regime for a strike on a Yarmouk mosque that killed 25 people on Sunday.

Source: Ma’an News