BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Palestinians displaced from Syria protest outside UNRWA

Palestinian refugees displaced from Syrian protest outside UNRWA headquarters in Beirut on Wednesday Jan. 2, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Palestinian refugees displaced from Syria carried out protests outside the offices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in both Beirut and south Lebanon.

Around 50 protesters gathered outside the U.N. agency in the Cite Sportive, Beirut, and urged UNRWA to provide shelter for them and secure their necessities for everyday living.

They held banners that read "We need money, medication, food and housing to shelter Palestinian refugees coming from Syria."

The banners were signed by the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas.

Meanwhile dozens of Palestinians protested outside the UNRWA headquarters in the southern city of Sidon, in response to a call by Hamas for refugees to claim their demands.

“The UNRWA should provide shelter to the displaced [Palestinians],” said Hamas spokesperson in Lebanon, Khaled Zeaiter.

Zeaiter said that UNRWA wasn’t paying any attention to the displaced Palestinians who came from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria and was failing to offer them any help.

After battles between the Assad regime and rebels in the war-torn Syria spilled into the Yarmouk refugee camp outside Damascus, more than 2,800 Palestinians fled to Lebanon.

Some of the displaced returned home after the fighters said they would keep battles away from Yarmouk. However, others remained in Lebanon voicing concern about the possibility of clashes erupting again in the camp.

Before the Yarmouk clashes, around 10,000 Palestinians had come from Syria to Lebanon since the beginning of violence in Syria.

Meanwhile, UNRWA argues that it lacks sufficient resources to secure the needs of the newcomers.

 

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