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Palestinians in Syria reluctantly sliding in quagmire of Syrian crisis

English.news.cn   2012-11-05 06:07:08            

DAMASCUS, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Syrian-born Palestinian refugees have found themselves caught in the middle of the 20-months-old conflict in Syria after trying for long to distance themselves away from the bloody quagmire.

The Palestinian camp of Yarmouk in the capital Damascus has been hit several times in the process of the ongoing clashes between the armed rebels and government troops in adjacent conflict-hardened districts.

On Sunday, at least 20 Palestinians were killed and 70 others wounded when mortar shells slammed streets in Yarmouk camp, which has been recently hit by a deadly explosion that killed at least 23 people.

The source of the mortars hasn't been known amid mutual accusations between the government and the armed militias.

Opposition activists said the army troops pounded several hotspots in the eastern outskirts of Damascus on Sunday, while the government said the armed militias in northern Idlib province had massacred 30 people.

In the midst of the Syrian violence, the Palestinians in Syria are paying steep price as they have become a part of the society fabric.

Earlier in the day, the family of Mohammed Rafeh, a prominent Syrian-born Palestinian actor, received his dead body. Rafeh had been kidnapped on Friday by what appeared to be anti-government parties.

The 30-year-old Rafeh, who was known of being a staunch supporter of President Bashar al-Assad, was snatched up in the restive Damascus suburb of Barzeh on Friday.

His father, Mohammad, who is also a prominent actor, reportedly said that his son's body bore gunshot marks to the head, shoulders and neck.

Meanwhile, an extremist group titled "Ahfad al-Siddiq" has reportedly claimed responsibility for the killing of Rafeh.

The Palestinian faction, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command (PFLP-GC) condemned the actor's killing, saying that the crime had been carried out by the "gangs of criminals in Syria."

In mid-October, media outlets reported the killing of a Palestinian doctor in cold blood after gunmen forced him out of his house and killed him before his children, wife and residents of nearby buildings.

Adel Husan was killed in the restive southern province of Daraa and his death could be an ordinary incident in light of the large number of killed people during Syria's 20-months-old crisis. He was mourned by both the Syrian government and the opposition groups with each party blaming his death on the other.

Media reports have lately talked about the formation of a Palestinian brigade to fight with the "rebels" under the umbrella of the "Free Army", in order to stand in the face of the popular committees in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus that were set up by the PFLP-GC, known for its pro-government stands.

Recent reports revealed that the number of Palestinians who had been killed over the 19 months climbed to 556, and thousands were injured, in addition to a number of missing.

Observers believe that the condition of Palestinian refugee camps in Syria is moving from bad to worse, and every day is witnessing a new escalation.

The Syrian army has, for more than once, reportedly bombarded the Palestinian camps, claiming that armed terrorist groups are using the camps as a shelter.

Last week, the Popular Committee for the Yarmouk Camp said that the Palestinians in Syria reject all attempts to "mess with the security of the camps and the terrorists' attempt to use them as a passage to target Syria."

In a statement, the popular committee said that some "gangs" have tried to attack them and they repelled the attacks.

It stressed that the Palestinian people was still standing firmly alongside Syria and is confident that it will emerge from this "conspiracy" stronger.

There are around 550,000 Palestinians in Syria residing in nine major camps in Daraa and Damascus, Homs, Hama, Latakia and Aleppo, and some living in random clusters.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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