Know More About Palestine

Sunday Dec. 9, 2012 0:29 AM (EST+7)
Palestinians refugees again, fleeing Syria for Jordan

Read more: Palestinian refugees, refugees, Syria, forced displacement, Jordan, Hamas, PFLP - General Command, Ahmed Jibril, PLO

RAMALLAH, December 8 (JMCC) - Only a fraction of the 500,000 Palestinian refugees living in Syria have fled the country despite months of fighting between the Syrian opposition and the government. The BBC interviews some of those who have made their way to Jordan, telling of fear and a lack of support.
Jihad Khalil used to be a tailor in the southern city of Deraa. He decided to leave after he was shot in clashes and lost two brothers to the two sides in the conflict.

I lost my brother in January to the Free Syrian Army. They apologised and told us they thought he was with the regime. My other brother was killed in September by the regime. They shot him on the street when he was out buying supplies, he says.

My first brother was a driver, the second was an electrician. They weren't involved in politics or any Palestinian groups.

The loyalties of Palestinian militant leaders who were allowed to live in exile in Syria have exacerbated the problems of ordinary refugees.

The political bureau of Hamas, led by Khaled Meshaal, was based in the country until earlier this year. It left after ideological ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the main opposition forces, strained relations.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command, headed by Ahmed Jabril, remains and has sided with the Syrian army.

Khaled Meshaal is against the regime and Ahmed Jabril is with it. We are stuck in the middle, says Mohammad, another Cyber City camp resident.

If the Free Syrian Army captures a Palestinian they say, 'you are with Ahmed Jabril' and they kill you. If the Syrian government captures you, then you're accused of being with the revolution and they kill you.

Meanwhile, Khaled Meshaal lives a nice life in Qatar and Ahmed Jabril is in his nice house, he adds bitterly.


More Palestinian refugees from Syria arrive while I am at the camp.

They are exhausted after a dangerous four-day journey. A boy snores loudly in his father's arms.

Like others here, the man complains of bias at the border. He says his family was initially turned back, even though he has old ID documents from Jordan. He claims that they eventually crossed by pretending to be Syrian.

The refugees also feel they have been neglected by Palestinian leaders in Ramallah.

Although the Jordanian government and the Palestinian embassy in Amman maintain that they are doing all they can to help, the head of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, Mahdi Abdelhadi, says the situation is very difficult.

The Palestinian department of refugees of the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organisation] is not doing any serious work concerning the Palestinian refugees seeking refuge in Jordan.

The Jordanian government is treating them separately and independently from other Syrian refugees. Finally, the Gulfies [Gulf states] investing in the agenda of the Syrian opposition and supporting the Syrian refugees are not paying any attention to this chapter - Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon, he says.







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