Violence continues to disrupt aid in Yarmouk

Published March 11th, 2014 - 07:21 GMT

Violence has disrupted humanitarian aid efforts for Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk camp on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus, a UN agency says.

Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), said on Sunday that clashes and shelling had continued in the refugee camp for the past few days, disrupting efforts to deliver aid to the people in the camp.

“Ongoing hostilities have now prevented UNRWA from distributing humanitarian assistance in Yarmouk for nine consecutive days,” he further said, expressing concerns about the humanitarian situation in the camp.

Reports on the same day said that militants occupying the camp violated a ceasefire reached with the Syrian government and Palestinians, making the situation difficult for the Yarmouk residents who are in dire need of food and medical supplies.

Khaled Jibreel, with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), told Press TV that militants have entered “our sites and expelled our fighters.”

“The agreement was violated,” Jibreel added.

Gunness also called on the parties involved in the violence to facilitate the process of food distribution to civilians inside Yarmouk.

“UNRWA reiterates its strong demands that all parties cease hostilities and seek to resolve their differences exclusively by peaceful means,” he added.

In February, Gunness highlighted the terrible situation of the women and children living in the camp, saying, “Given the context, such as malnutrition which is reportedly widespread, the fate particularly of women and children is of growing concern.”

Large numbers of armed groups, affiliated to al-Qaeda and the Free Syrian Army, are reportedly fortified in the camp.

On January 13, militants operating inside Syria opened fire on a convoy of UN vehicles carrying tons of food supplies to the people inside the camp.

Yarmouk houses thousands of people, who have been experiencing hard times since militants took control of the camp.

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