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The siege of Yarmouk, which started in July 2013, changed the dynamics of the Syrian conflict. Not only has it discredited the Assad regime as a champion of the Palestinian struggle but also the Palestinians' own leadership. The Palestinian refugee community was determined to remain neutral throughout the Syrian conflict. Infuriated that the PFLP-GC jeopardized Palestinian neutrality and sided with a regime implicated in the deaths of Palestinians, Yarmouk residents burned down PFLP-GC headquarters in June 2011 .With the leadership so fractured, Yarmouk was vulnerable to attacks from all sides.In the absence of a unified Palestinian leadership, crises such as Yarmouk will continue to plague Palestinian refugees wherever they go.While Hamas made a seemingly virtuous decision to leave Syria, they effectively abandoned Yarmouk.The latest invasion of Yarmouk by extremist groups is simply another example.While Palestinian leadership is divided over Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the Syrian conflict, Yarmouk residents effectively used the social media tools of the Arab Spring to demand humanitarian protection.
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