UN Palestine Refugee Agency Calls for Protection of Civilians in Syria

UN Palestine Refugee Agency Calls for Protection of Civilians in Syria

Residents of the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp wait to leave the camp, on the southern edge of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria, Feb. 4, 2014 (photo credit: AP/SANA)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has called on all warring parties in Syria to keep civilians at bay form all forms of violence.

“UNRWA is devastated by the news that in the same incident that took the life of our colleague, a number of civilians were also killed”, said UNRWA in a statement. “Tragically, this also includes Mohammad Ali Fares, 13 years old, a student in one of our schools, along with his 10 year old cousin, Rasha Nabeel Al Zawahra. Our heartfelt condolences go out to all those impacted by this tragic event.”

“UNRWA reiterates its call on all parties to the conflict in Syria to protect civilians from all forms of violence”, the Agency’s statement read.

A couple of days earlier, UNRWA condemned the killing of one of its staff members Ali Husein Mohammad, following an outbreak of armed violence in Jillin, rural Daraa, south of Syria.

“The thoughts and condolences of UNRWA staff are with Mohammad’s family in this time of profound grief”, said UNRWA in a statement released last week.

Born in 1977, Mohammad had served with UNRWA since September 2013 as a science teacher. He is survived by a widow and four children. 

“UNRWA provides critical services to the Palestine refugees in Jillin and has continued to provide assistance to Palestine refugees throughout Syria thanks to the dedication of staff like Mohammad. His tragic death, which brings to 19 the total number of UNRWA staff who lost their lives in the conflict is a reminder of the huge risks that humanitarian workers face daily”, UNRWA’s statement further read.

UNRWA has appealed to all parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, particularly in relation to the protection of civilians and the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks and attacks against civilians and civilian objects.

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