Palestinian Women in Syria Traumatized by Years of Warfare, Displacement

Palestinian Women in Syria Traumatized by Years of Warfare, Displacement

Palestinian refugee women who died of war-related incidents all the way through Syria’s nine-year conflict make up 16% of the overall death toll. Photo via: AGPS

As the bloody Syrian warfare has entered its ninth year, Palestinian refugee women taking shelter in the country have gone traumatized by the daily scenes of bloodshed, destruction, and loss of beloved ones.

AGPS documented the death of 486 Palestinian women and girls in Syria due to reasons related to deadly shelling, lack of health care, and fatal torture.

At least 35 Palestinian women and girls were tortured in Syrian government dungeons, some among whom have been identified via leaked snapshots.

As many as 110 Palestinian women and girls have, meanwhile, been secretly held in Syrian state jails. Dozens of female refugees have gone missing inside and outside the Syrian territories. Dozens of others breathed their last onboard the “death-boats” to Europe.

AGPS believes the number to be far higher as scores of casualties have gone undocumented after the Syrian authorities kept their names secret. Several families have also refused to reveal their relatives’ names over retaliation concerns.

According to affidavits by ex-detainees and breakaways, Palestinian mothers and girls have been subjected to harsh psycho-physical torture tactics in Syrian penitentiaries, including electric shocks, heavy beating, and sexual abuse.

Such practices represent flagrant violations of the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict of 1974, Article 5, which criminalizes all forms of torture and mistreatment against women and children.

Several women have also gone homeless or widowed after they lost their husbands and/or children in the war or due to torture.  AGPS found out that among tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon, over 2,500 families have had women as their sole breadwinners, which increases their vulnerability.

At the same time, scores of women have not been reunited with their sons, daughters, and relatives for years as several refugees fled the war-ravaged Syrian territories and sought asylum in European and non-European destinations.

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