BEIRUT: Just over 20,000 Palestinians remain in Lebanon after fleeing violence in Syria, according to the Palestinian Hamas Movement.
A total of 885 Palestinians have been killed in Syria since the uprising began nearly two years ago, a Hamas spokesman told The Daily Star Friday.
According to a report released by Hamas, some 20,500 Palestinians remain in Lebanon after fleeing the violence in Syria, including at least 3,500 who left following the latest outbreak of fighting in the Yarmouk refugee camp outside Damascus last month.
The official noted that the number was approximate and took into account Palestinians living in Syria who have Jordanian, Egyptian or other travel documents.
“Many are staying with relatives but we have also opened some schools in Ain al-Hilweh and one in the Jalil camp in the Bekaa due to the [recent] rain and snow,” the official said.
The country was battered by a severe winter storm this week that raised concerns for the welfare of struggling refugees from Syria, many of whom live in unfinished houses or informal camps.
The report says that 480 families have sought refuge in the Ain al-Hilweh camp in south Lebanon, but many more are living in crowded, unsanitary conditions.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 12, 2013, on page 2.