Property rights report: Palestinians of Syria victims of reconstruction plans

Two citizens walking through the rubble of the Yarmouk Camp 2018 (Yarmouk Camp News)

Two citizens walking through the rubble of the Yarmouk Camp 2018 (Yarmouk Camp News)


The “Action Group for the Palestinians of Syria” (AGPS) has issued an annual report that monitored the Palestinians’ situations in Syria.

The report, released on Monday, 6 July, was entitled,  “Palestinians of Syria Victims of Destruction and Reconstruction.”

The AGPS’s report discussed the Syrian regime’s refusal to allow the Yarmouk Camp displaced residents to rebuild the camp or return to it.

“The camp’s displaced people are suffering from dire humanitarian conditions within Syria’s deteriorating economy,” the report mentioned.

The report also confirmed that the camp residents are unable to secure housing alternatives, especially that “the camp is still witnessing looting and plundering operations of public and private property.”

The report also mentioned the “destruction works of the camp’s infrastructure of electricity, water, and communication networks within the sight of the Syrian security services.”

According to the report, the Syrian regime’s procrastination in carrying out its promises to the Yarmouk Camp displaced residents to return to their homes, puts them in a state of insecurity, aggravates their suffering, and threatens the Palestinian refugee communities.

The camp had witnessed 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.

Two years have passed since the regime regained control over the Yarmouk Camp; still, the residents were not allowed to return under the pretext that the rubble removal is not finished yet.

Despite the numerous “return” promises by the regime to the camp residents, Damascus governorate announced two weeks ago its approval of the regulatory plan for the al-Qaboun area and the regulatory map of the Yarmouk Camp neighborhood in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

On the other hand, the “Yarmouk Camp News Network” published the camp’s new regulatory plan and considered that one of its disadvantages is the expropriation of more than 50 percent of the buildings, houses, and shops included in the new urban planning.

According to the “network,” the Yarmouk Camp’s master plan has other disadvantages, such as the slow implementation of the reconstruction process, which extends to an unknown number of years.

Besides, agencies relevant to the Yarmouk Camp’s reconstruction plan such as the Yarmouk Camp Municipality, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) had not been consulted before the issuance of the plan.

Moreover, the “network” asked the camp’s residents to object to the new regulatory plan, especially those who feel that it is threatening their property rights.

The “network” called on the Yarmouk Camp residents to head to Damascus governorate to submit their objections, taking all papers that would help prove their ownership.




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