Civilians and pro-government forces walk down the destroyed Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the capital Damascus on May 24, 2018, after the regime seized the camp. (Photo: AFP)
The Palestine envoy to Syria showed up in Yarmouk Camp for Palestinian refugees, south of Damascus, to keep tabs on the humanitarian situation and rubble-clearance works.
Ambassador Samir AlRefai, who paid a visit to Yarmouk Camp on October 3, said the committee appointed by the Palestine Liberation Organization has started removing debris from access roads in the camp.
The Ambassador said efforts have been underway to rehabilitate infrastructure and reconstruct destroyed schools in Yarmouk Camp.
Syrian authorities have allowed a number of families to re-enter the ravaged Yarmouk Camp for Palestinian refugees south of Damascus, and clear debris as of September 10 until October 05.
A few weeks earlier, Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Talal Naji told the Syrian state-run TV channel that residents of Yarmouk Camp will be soon allowed to return to their camp and retrieve their property following instructions to that end by the Syrian president.
UN data indicates that before the eruption of the conflict in 2011, Yarmouk was home to approximately 160,000 Palestine refugees, making it the largest Palestine refugee community in Syria. Located eight kilometers from Damascus, it is one of three unofficial camps in Syria.
In December 2012, fierce clashes erupted in Yarmouk, causing numerous civilian casualties, severe damage to property and the displacement of thousands of Palestine refugees and Syrians. The camp was under siege from July 2013, drastically restricting the entry of commercial and humanitarian goods.
In April 2015, armed opposition groups captured over 60 per cent of the camp, containing over 90 per cent of the remaining civilian population. This not only made relief institutions unable to carry out any distributions inside Yarmouk but also displaced most of the remaining 18,000 Palestine refugees and other civilians to the neighboring areas of Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham (YBB).
Almost all the remaining Palestine refugees left during the final government offensive for Yarmouk in April-May 2018, after which the government retook control of the camp.