235,000 Palestine refugees displaced inside Syria

UNRWA: Palestine refugees in Syria are being killed, injured and displaced in greater numbers than ever before, as the armed conflict continues to overwhelm refugee camps across the country. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) now estimates that approximately 235,000 Palestine refugees have been displaced inside Syria and is particularly concerned about news that was confirmed today on the displacement of some 6,000 Palestinians from Ein El Tal on 26 April, a Palestine refugee camp some 12 kilometres from Aleppo in northern Syria.

Months of sporadic armed engagements intensified last week, culminating in armed opposition groups occupying Ein El Tal camp in the early morning hours of 26 April and immediately declaring it a “military zone”. Exchanges of fire ensued with forces loyal to the government who were present inside the camp. Mortars and small arms were reportedly used, damaging and destroying refugee homes and contributing to dozens of fatalities and injuries, including among Palestinian civilians. In the aftermath of the fighting, a number of young Palestine refugee men were reportedly taken away by the armed opposition groups who now remain in Ein El Tal camp, where a situation of high tension prevails.

Staff from UNRWA’s Office in Aleppo responded within a few hours to the emergency needs of the refugees displaced from Ein El Tal camp. Rapid arrangements were put into place to provide food and cash assistance to the displaced, many of whom are still seeking temporary accommodation in Aleppo city. UNRWA’s response efforts are continuing amidst reports that significant numbers of the displaced refugees may be trapped without adequate shelter in rural areas around Aleppo where intense armed conflict continues to rage.

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