UNRWA Mourns Death of Palestinian Staffer in Syria Conflict

JERUSALEM, March 16, 2013 (WAFA) – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) mourned Saturday the death of Nasri Khalil Hasan, a member of its teaching staff in Syria, who was killed in an explosion, according to an UNRWA statement.

Hassan, 52, is the sixth UNRWA staff member to be killed in the two-year-old Syria conflict, it said.

Hasan’s home in Khan Eshieh refugee camp was struck and damaged by an artillery shell on Wednesday, said the statement. As Hasan, his wife and four teenage children were fleeing on foot to a makeshift shelter, he was seriously wounded by shrapnel from a nearby explosion.

He was seriously injured and later died of his wounds.

Hasan was a mathematics teacher at an UNRWA school in the camp.

UNRWA said “Hasan’s passing is one more tragic example of how the unrestrained conduct of the armed conflict in Syria continues to cause avoidable civilian deaths.”

It said there were severe escalations in the armed conflict in Khan Eshieh and other areas of Rif Damascus.

“These are exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis, with a rising number of civilian deaths and serious injuries, significant displacement, and with many residential areas, including Palestine refugee camps isolated and inaccessible,” it said.

“While the majority of casualties are Syrian, it is alarming to note that Palestine refugees are also being killed in increasing numbers, with the majority of fatalities occurring in Damascus, including Yarmouk, and Rif Damascus,” it added.

UNRWA condemned “the persistent failure of all sides of the Syrian conflict to protect civilians or to demonstrate regard for human life.”

It said that “violations of international humanitarian law and human rights are causing large numbers of avoidable civilian deaths, injuries and displacement, including among the Palestine refugee community in Syria. Parties to the conflict, including armed opposition groups, must ensure compliance with international law and desist from taking up positions or conducting the conflict in Palestine refugee camps and other residential areas.”

Source: WAFA News