Yarmouk camp, once home to 160,000 Palestine refugees, suffered devastating destruction because of intense fighting in Syria. (File photo)
Palestinian families displaced from Yarmouk Camp continue to denounce the complicated red tape slapped by the Syrian authorities regarding their demands to return to the camp.
The residents said local authorities continue to block their access to their houses and property in the camp.
Recently, the Syrian authorities claimed 500 families received permits to return to their homes in the camp, which has been denied by local sources.
Palestinian families continue to call on the concerned authorities to allow them a safe return to their homes in Yarmouk Camp, in Damascus, and to press ahead with reconstruction projects.
Such calls come in response to the reluctance maintained by local authorities in Damascus regarding the residents’ ongoing appeals to rehabilitate infrastructure and allow displaced civilians to safely return to the camp.
A number of activists have also warned of ongoing attempts to alter the demographic character of the camp and blur its identity as a living witness to the Palestinian refugee plight.
In 2019, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) published the results of an assessment of the damage to Syrian cities caused by seven years of relentless bombardment by the incumbent regime and its allies since 2011.
The analysis found out that as many as 5,489 buildings were destroyed in Yarmouk Camp for Palestinian refugees. The damage atlas used satellite-detected damage analysis to identify buildings that are either destroyed, or severely or moderately damaged.
Most of Palestinian families taking shelter south of Damascus fled Yarmouk as a result of the tough blockade imposed by the government troops and also after ISIS grabbed hold of the camp on April 1, 2015.
Scores of other stranded families fled the camp following the 33-day military operation launched by the government forces on April 19, 2018. The Syrian government regained control over the camp and southern Damascus towns following the military operation. Dozens of civilians were killed and dozens more injured. Over 80% of buildings have gone either totally or partially destroyed.