Property rights report: House demolition continues in Yarmouk Camp to steal iron

A Syrian woman sitting on the rubble of the Yarmouk Camp - 2018 (Yarmouk Camp News)

A Syrian woman sitting on the rubble of the Yarmouk Camp - 2018 (Yarmouk Camp News)


The “Action Group for the Palestinians of Syria (AGPS)” has issued a report that monitored the continuation of house demolition in the Yarmouk Camp in Damascus to steal iron from them.

According to the report issued on Sunday, 12 July, the theft and “looting” operations of houses and civilians’ property in the camp have continued, since the Syrian regime forces took control of it in May 2018.

AGPS’s report mentioned that “the looters have left nothing in the camp.”

“They looted house furniture and infrastructure such as electric cables and plastic pipes to transport water and copper, aluminum, marble, and tiles from the houses,” according to the report.

As a precedent, the looters deliberately demolished habitable buildings to steal iron bars from them, and they assembled them in specific centers inside the camp, before removing them publicly and officially through trucks without being intercepted by any authority.

According to the AGPS, activists from the Yarmouk Camp residents accused the Syrian regime of disregarding the looters, not holding them accountable, and helping them remove the stolen items from the camp to sell them in Damascus markets.

Meanwhile, the camp residents considered that the camp’s destruction works are in the interest of those who want to carry out the regulatory plan of the area to give them pretexts to destroy the rest of the camp.

On 25 June, Damascus governorate approved the master plan of the al-Qaboun area and the regulatory map of the Yarmouk Camp in Damascus outside the framework of Law No. 10 of 2018.

The plan was issued within the framework of Law No. 23 of 2015 that provides for “organizing the process of land preparation for construction, according to the general organizational plan and the detailed regulatory plan in the urban development schemes approved by one of the two following methods, the owner’s division, and the regulatory planning of the administrative authority.”

Nevertheless, the new regulatory plan of the Yarmouk Camp evoked reactions and objections by the Palestinian refugee communities of Syria, as several Palestinian human rights organizations called on Damascus governorate to abandon the new regulatory plan.

According to these organizations, “the new organizational plan carries significant changes to the camp’s urban reality that prevailed before the Syrian conflict.”

The General Authority for Palestine Arab Refugees (GAPAR) formed a committee to protest the camp’s new master plan; however, the committee’s report was not released until the preparation date of this report.

The camp had witnessed several battles between the former “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) factions and the regime’s forces, amid the division of the Palestinian factions between the two sides, before the so-called Islamic State (IS) took control of two-thirds of the camp in 2015.

However, the regime’s forces regained full control of al-Hajar al-Aswad and the Yarmouk Camp area in May 2018.

The regime’s control came after a month-long military operation, which led to the expelling of IS from the camp, following an informal evacuation agreement, that forced the transfer of IS militants to the Badia east of As-Suwayda.



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