48 Besieged 'Palestinian Refugees' Starve in Syria
The Al-Yarmouk "Palestinian refugee camp" in southern Damascus has been under an ongoing siege by the Syrian army. An opposition group said Saturday that two more starved to death in the camp this weekend, bringing the death total to 48.
The Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC), a coalition of rebel forces, said the camp of roughly 20,000 descendants of Arabs who left Israel during the 1948 war ran out of food and medical supplies after 180 days of siege by President Bashar Assad's forces.
The siege has sparked protests among Palestinian Arabs, who demonstrated on the Temple Mount over the weekend.
Last October, the imam (religious authority) of the camp gave residents religious permission to eat cats and dogs in an attempt to cope with the ongoing siege, which started roughly last July.
“More than 60 TV, radio and other media outlets, in addition to hundreds of bloggers, were working to expose what is happening,” Rami Mahdawi, a Palestinian activist and journalist told Al Arabiya.
While the siege started because some Palestinian groups had started fighting the Syrian army, residents of the camp have gotten it from both sides, as early last year several were hung by rebel forces over suspicion of colluding with Assad's regime.
Regarding the camp as being designated for "Palestinian refugees," the term is problematic given testimony from those termed refugees admitting they left of their own volition to let the invading Arab armies try to wipe out Israel. One such testimony can be seen here, translated by Palestinian Media Watch: