Hundreds of Palestinian families were displaced from southern Damascus to poorly-equipped refugee camps in northern Syria.
This year's Holy Ramadan month has been tougher for Palestinian refugees inside and outside the Syrian territories (PRS), as the coronavirus outbreak means that many PRS have not been able to reunite with or provide for their families.
Several PRS families have been scattered in displacement camps set up in northern Syria and on borderlands with the war-torn country. Scores of others have been stranded in reception facilities set up in European and Asian countries, where they have been facing dire living conditions due to overcrowding, poor hygiene, and lack of access to vital services.
At the same time, hundreds of families taking shelter in displacement camps in northern Syria continue to struggle for survival as they have been deprived of much-needed items and vital services, particularly healthcare, at a time when the novel coronavirus continues to claim the lives of thousands of people around the world.
Palestinian refugees from Syria have been denied easy access to neighboring countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and North African countries.
The Turkish embassies have suspended visas for Palestinian refugees from Syria for over five years. Jordan also issued a decision officially banning the entry of the Palestinians of Syria regardless of their condition.
Palestinian refugees from Syria are reported to lack legal status in Lebanon. The absence of a specific legislation addressing the unique situation of the Palestinians of Syria has made them vulnerable to marginalization within the Lebanese polity.
Most of the Gulf countries have also outlawed granting visas to Palestinians with Syrian travel documents since 2013.
After nine years of conflict, Palestinian refugees in and from Syria continue to face significant humanitarian and protection needs. In the absence of a durable political settlement, intense hostilities and violence resulting in deaths and injuries, internal displacement, loss of livelihoods, decreases in the provision of public services, and extensive damage to civilian infrastructure have disrupted the lives of civilians and forced thousands to become internally displaced.
UN data indicates that as many as 120,000 Palestine refugees have fled war-stricken Syria since 2011, including 28,000 to Lebanon.
The Syrian conflict has impacted Palestine refugees inside and outside the Syrian territories. There used to be 560’000 countrywide, mainly in Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Latakia, Damascus and Deraa.
According to the UN, today, some 440,000 Palestine refugees remain in Syria, more than half of them are internally displaced, and nearly all require sustained humanitarian assistance.
Economic hardship forced thousands of PRS to embark on life-threatening journeys to neighboring countries or to try to get to safety to a European destination. Hundreds have died at sea.