The Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS), a London-based human rights NGO formed in 2012, reported on 9 July that 3,987 Palestinian refugees in Syria have been killed since 2011, the beginning of the revolution and the war in the Arab country.
By Fabio Bosco
Out of the 3,987, 1,422 lived in the Al-Yarmouk refugee camp, the largest one outside occupied Palestine, which was besieged and bombed by the Syrian regime armed forces. Another 263 were from Daraa refugee camp; 202 from Khan Eshieh (in the rural area of Damascus); 168 of Al-Neirab in Aleppo; and 124 from the Al-Husainiya camp. Hundreds more have died in other locations in Syria.
The bombardments were responsible for the loss of 1,212 lives. 1,077 were shot to death and 604 were tortured to death in Syrian detention centers. Another 311 were hit by snipers, 205 died of malnutrition or lack of medical treatment in areas besieged by the regime, 142 in explosions, 92 were extrajudicially executed by militias linked to the Syrian regime and 52 died drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.
Seven Years After the Massacre of 16 Palestinians
Through an 11 July post, the AGPS recalls the 16 Palestinian members of the Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA) abducted as they returned from the Misyaf military center near Idlib to the Al-Neirab refugee camp in Aleppo. They were tortured and killed about a month later.
In 2015, opposition forces to the Syrian regime took over the Criminal Security Branch at Idlib – a Syrian agency, where photos of some of the combatants kidnapped and tortured to death by Syrian troops including Mahmoud Abu Al-Leil and Anas Karim were found. More than 270 PLA fighters were killed in Syria.
Palestinian refugee Ibrahim Reda Samara, a resident of the Al-Neirab camp and a volunteer in the Syrian regime’s Liwa Al-Quds brigade, was shot dead by the regime’s own militias for defending a woman being harassed by them in Saadullah Al-Jaberi square, in Aleppo.
AGPS also documented the death of 35 Palestinian refugees from Fatah Al-Intifada group in fighting alongside the regime’s forces against Daesh (the self-nominated Islamic State) and Al-Nusra Front in Al-Yarmouk, Harasta, Al-Kabon and Deir-Zour.
According to the AGPS, activists denounced that Daesh militias kidnapped dozens of wanted Palestinian refugees and handed them over to Syrian regime forces “for security reasons.”
The Syrian regime forces Palestinians over the age of 18 to join the army, what puts pressure on Palestinians to seek refuge in other countries.
Palestinian Teachers Murdered
In another July 11 post, AGPS reports that the General Union of Palestinian Teachers honored several Palestinian teachers in Aleppo.
The post clarifies that dozens of them “were killed and many others were tortured to death in Syrian state prisons”, in addition to dozens that disappeared.
In a July 10 post, the AGPS reports that Palestinian refugee Omar Yacoob Hejazi, born in 1975 and living in the Al-Yarmouk camp, was abducted by Syrian troops on the Syrian-Lebanese border seven years ago.
Another Al-Yarmouk Palestinian, Haytham Hamouda Naji, who was born in 1969, was kidnapped by Syrian troops on 28 August 2014 while delivering food in Al-Rijah Square in the refugee camp itself.
Also from Al-Yarmouk are the Palestinian refugees Mahmoud Tamim, 58, imprisoned by the Syrian regime since 3 August 2013; Salim Mohamed Al-Mawed and Nour Al-Deen Mahmoud Abdullah, arrested at the checkpoint on the field respectively on 22 May 2013 and 2014.
Palestinian refugee Moad Adnan Al-Khatib, a resident of the Al-Husainiya camp, was arrested on 1 December 2012. He was a student at Al-Fatah Al-Islami College and Imam at Al-Sahabi Zaher Mosque. At least 35 Palestinians from the Al-Husainiya camp were detained by Syrian regime forces.
The 29-year-old Palestinian refugee Rudeina Muhammad Khattab was arrested by the Syrian regime in 2012 in Latakia. Also from that city, Palestinian refugee Mohamed Fatah Hamouda, a resident of the Al-Raml camp, was released on July 1 after eight years in prison. He was arrested on August 17, 2011 and passed through the notorious Sednaya military prison before being transferred to Al-Sweida Central Prison.
AGPS reported about the incarceration of 1,759 Palestinian refugees by the Syrian regime, including 108 women and girls, and 606 others who were tortured to death.
Families still seek them and appeal for information about their loved ones.
Palestinians prevented from returning to Al-Yarmouk
In an 8 July post, the AGPS denounced that civilian families have their return to Al-Yarmouk denied by Syrian troops located on the main entrances of the camp.
A 200-page petition signed by 3,000 Al-Yarmouk residents pleads Syrian authorities to allow them to return in order to rebuild houses and infrastructure. After seven years of bombardment, 5,489 buildings were destroyed in this camp.
Most residents fled because of the brutal blockade by the Syrian regime since 2012 and later by the takeover of the camp by Daesh on April 1, 2015 which brought the 33 days of bombing and military action of the regime starting on April 19, 2015.
Syrian Palestinian refugee Shadha Abu Weddou has gone on hunger strike in London along with 47 other activists in several cities, in particular Syrian Brita Hagi Hasan who is in front of the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, to protest against the crimes of the Syrian regime and the Russian planes in the north of the Arab country.
Unfortunately most Palestinian political parties support the Syrian dictator Bashar el-Assad or prevent themselves from denouncing the atrocities committed by the regime. The Palestinian cause is an international cause for justice and freedom. It shall not be messed up with murderous dictators like Bashar el-Assad.