Six of the nine Palestinian refugee camps in Syria have become battlegrounds between armed opposition groups and government forces. As a consequence of this, thousands of civilians are trapped, experiencing grave rights violations, deprivation of food and lack of medicine; their misery is used as a tool in a dreadful war strategy. Several blockades around the camps, inhibiting essential health supplies, food and other necessities from entering the camps, have been reported, along with stories of simultaneous infighting. The battlegrounds in Syria have indeed moved onto a whole new level of inhumanity.
“Recent reports of death by starvation are highly alarming,” UNRWA’s spokesman Christopher Gunness told MEMO. Since September, UNRWA has basically been unable to deliver assistance to the refugees in Yarmouk. Gunness revealed that even before September, since December 2012, in fact, when armed opposition elements entered the camp and relief operations inside became impossible due to extreme violence, the UN agency had to establish a distribution point just outside the camp in Zahera. The residents came out to collect aid and went back in. “Now,” he said, “no one is allowed out or in.”