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PA Sends Aid Convoy to 'Palestinian Refugees' in Syria

An aid convoy with food and medicine left Ramallah and headed towards a Syrian area of 'Palestinian refugees'.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/6/2012, 5:16 AM

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Reuters

An aid convoy left Ramallah on Sunday, carrying food and medicine in a symbol of support for people registered as Palestinian refugees and who have gotten caught up in the crisis in Syria.

Reuters quoted Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas as having said the aid convoy left “from Palestinian soil towards Syria.”

An official donations drive netted around $650,000 worth of food and medical aid from local companies, businessmen, and individuals during the charitable month of Ramadan, the report said.

As well, a one percent cut of salaries from the PA’s cash-strapped public sector went toward the convoy.

Sixteen trucks loaded with flour, rice, sugar, lentils, chickpeas, pasta and medicine drove through Abbas's compound before leaving for Jordan bound for Damascus via the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which has continued to service the camps despite the violence.

The aid convoy was sent after battles between Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebel armies hit Al-Yarmouk, a Damascus neighborhood that serves as an unofficial camp for roughly 150,000 people registered as Palestinian refugees.

At least 21 people were killed in the camp as Syrian troops used heavy fire to beat back rebels.

Mohammad Shtayyeh, head of the aid campaign, told Reuters on Sunday that around 400 Palestinian refugees have been killed in Syria so far, mostly by snipers.