Official: 100,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria fled to Europe
Around 1,000 Palestinians are believed to have drowned in the sea en route to Europe. (AFP/File)
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Nearly 100,000 Palestinians have fled Syria to Europe and are living in harsh conditions, Ziad al-Aloul, head of the Palestinian Forum in Europe, revealed on Sunday.
Aloul told the Al-Resalah online newspaper that some 500,000 Palestinians have fled their homes in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria.
Only 200,000 of them have remained inside Syria, while the rest have found shelter in a number of Arab countries.
He also revealed that about 1,000 Palestinians have drowned in the sea while they were on their way to Europe, and that 100 of them were still missing.
About 430 Palestinians and Syrians went missing while they were on their way to Italy, and another 2,300 drowned as they tried to reach Greece, he said.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority announced that it was following “with great interest” the plight of the Palestinian refugees in Syria.
The PA’s Foreign Ministry said that most of the Palestinians living in Syria have been forced to leave the country to “unknown destinations because of the harsh conditions surrounding them.”
Since the beginning of the unrest in Arab countries, the ministry has formed committees to visit the Palestinian refugees and offer them assistance, it said, adding that PA embassies have been instructed to intensify their efforts to help the refugees.
The ministry said it was also in touch with the United Nations to discuss the possibility of allowing Palestinian refugees in Arab countries to move to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
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