Palestinian minister raps Syria rebels for blocking Yarmouk aid

Palestinian minister raps Syria rebels for blocking Yarmouk aid
Wed Jan 15, 2014 08:19:46

A Palestinian minister has criticized accused terrorists in Syria for blocking aid access to the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in the south of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Militants, who control swathes of Yarmouk, have imposed a suffocating siege on the camp for months, where some 20,000 Palestinians live despite terrible shortages.

Palestinian labor minister Ahmad Majdalani, who was visiting Damascus to negotiate aid access to the camp, said on Tuesday Yarmouk Palestinian residents must not be used as "hostages" in the conflict.

An aid convoy heading to Yarmouk was targeted on Monday "some 100 meters (yards) away from the agreed meeting point," on the edges of the camp, Majdalani said at a press conference in Damascus.

He said "the source of fire was known... to be controlled by Al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and Suqur al-Golan," directly accusing militant groups battling the Syrian government troops.

Majdalani added "all these groups are known for their terrorist links and methodology."

The minister also said Palestinians "everywhere know... that those who have taken the camp hostage are these groups, not the Syrian authorities."

Some 45 people have died in recent months because of food and medical shortages in Yarmouk, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group has said, with the most recent death on Tuesday.

Monday's aid convoy was the sixth to have failed to enter the camp. Palestinian sources have told AFP the convoys were blocked from entering by gunfire.


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