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Palestinian Journalists: Yarmouk’s New Organizational Plan Targets Palestinian Presence

Published : 18-07-2020

Palestinian Journalists: Yarmouk’s New Organizational Plan Targets Palestinian Presence

Palestinian researchers and journalists have sounded the alarm over the threats posed by the new organizational plan proposed by Damascus Governorate to reconstruct Yarmouk Camp.

Researchers and academics have warned that the new plan seeks to blur the Palestinian identity and further displace the refugee population, adding that it blatantly violates Palestinians’ historical rights, including the right to ownership.

They called on the concerned authorities to preserve the identity of the camp and to rather implement the reconstruction plan approved in 2004.

Palestinian refugees and human rights groups continue to voice their firm rejection of the new organizational plan for Yarmouk Camp, which has been subjected to massive destruction in the bloody conflict.

Tension has been running high in the area as thousands of refugees continue to rail against the proposed plan, amid growing fears that their homes and property will be removed from the new plan.

Sometime earlier, the Damascus Governorate said parts of Yarmouk Camp are state property, which implies that the residents are not entitled to own the land but only the property built on it. 

Recently, AGPS has called on the Syrian authorities in Damascus to re-examine the new organizational plan and to rather implement the old plan which was approved in 2004.

In a statement, AGPS said plans that do not take into account Palestinians’ inalienable rights make part of underway conspiracies to further displace the Palestinian people and destroy displacement camps as living witnesses to their refugee plight.

The statement said the new organizational plan will remarkably change the demographic and architectural identity of the camp. Several buildings and facilities will be removed, which will lead to a mass displacement of refugee families and a further deterioration of their humanitarian condition.

Activists warned that in case the plan is implemented, over half of the residents will not be able to return to their houses which they have abandoned in the bloody warfare.

Before the eruption of the conflict in 2011, Yarmouk was home to approximately 160,000 Palestine refugees, making it the largest Palestine refugee community in Syria. Located eight kilometers from Damascus, it is one of three unofficial camps in Syria.

In December 2012, fierce clashes erupted in Yarmouk, causing numerous civilian casualties, severe damage to property and the displacement of thousands of Palestine refugees and Syrians. The camp was under siege from July 2013, drastically restricting the entry of commercial and humanitarian goods.

In April 2015, armed opposition groups captured over 60 per cent of the camp, containing over 90 per cent of the remaining civilian population. This not only made UNRWA unable to carry out any distributions inside Yarmouk but also displaced most of the remaining 18,000 Palestine refugees and other civilians to the neighboring areas of Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham (YBB).

Almost all the remaining Palestine refugees left during the final government offensive for Yarmouk in April-May 2018, after which the government retook control of the camp.

UNRWA was able to return to the camp to conduct a needs assessment in October 2018.  Of the 23 UNRWA premises in the camp and nearby Hajjar al Aswad, including 16 school buildings, all have been affected by the conflict.

 

Short URL : https://www.actionpal.org.uk/en/post/10391

Palestinian researchers and journalists have sounded the alarm over the threats posed by the new organizational plan proposed by Damascus Governorate to reconstruct Yarmouk Camp.

Researchers and academics have warned that the new plan seeks to blur the Palestinian identity and further displace the refugee population, adding that it blatantly violates Palestinians’ historical rights, including the right to ownership.

They called on the concerned authorities to preserve the identity of the camp and to rather implement the reconstruction plan approved in 2004.

Palestinian refugees and human rights groups continue to voice their firm rejection of the new organizational plan for Yarmouk Camp, which has been subjected to massive destruction in the bloody conflict.

Tension has been running high in the area as thousands of refugees continue to rail against the proposed plan, amid growing fears that their homes and property will be removed from the new plan.

Sometime earlier, the Damascus Governorate said parts of Yarmouk Camp are state property, which implies that the residents are not entitled to own the land but only the property built on it. 

Recently, AGPS has called on the Syrian authorities in Damascus to re-examine the new organizational plan and to rather implement the old plan which was approved in 2004.

In a statement, AGPS said plans that do not take into account Palestinians’ inalienable rights make part of underway conspiracies to further displace the Palestinian people and destroy displacement camps as living witnesses to their refugee plight.

The statement said the new organizational plan will remarkably change the demographic and architectural identity of the camp. Several buildings and facilities will be removed, which will lead to a mass displacement of refugee families and a further deterioration of their humanitarian condition.

Activists warned that in case the plan is implemented, over half of the residents will not be able to return to their houses which they have abandoned in the bloody warfare.

Before the eruption of the conflict in 2011, Yarmouk was home to approximately 160,000 Palestine refugees, making it the largest Palestine refugee community in Syria. Located eight kilometers from Damascus, it is one of three unofficial camps in Syria.

In December 2012, fierce clashes erupted in Yarmouk, causing numerous civilian casualties, severe damage to property and the displacement of thousands of Palestine refugees and Syrians. The camp was under siege from July 2013, drastically restricting the entry of commercial and humanitarian goods.

In April 2015, armed opposition groups captured over 60 per cent of the camp, containing over 90 per cent of the remaining civilian population. This not only made UNRWA unable to carry out any distributions inside Yarmouk but also displaced most of the remaining 18,000 Palestine refugees and other civilians to the neighboring areas of Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham (YBB).

Almost all the remaining Palestine refugees left during the final government offensive for Yarmouk in April-May 2018, after which the government retook control of the camp.

UNRWA was able to return to the camp to conduct a needs assessment in October 2018.  Of the 23 UNRWA premises in the camp and nearby Hajjar al Aswad, including 16 school buildings, all have been affected by the conflict.

 

Short URL : https://www.actionpal.org.uk/en/post/10391