Wed 28 Oct 2020

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Three conditions set by Damascus governorate to return to Yarmouk camp

The Yarmouk camp near Damascus - 10 August 2018 (SANA)

The Yarmouk camp near Damascus - 10 August 2018 (SANA)

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The Executive Office in Damascus governorate has set three conditions that allow the Yarmouk camp residents to return home.

According to the local newspaper “al-Watan,” Samir Jazairli, a member of the Executive Office of Damascus governorate, said on 5 October that the governorate “is working to facilitate the return of the residents, who have been forcibly displaced by terrorism, to the Yarmouk camp under three conditions.”

These conditions include structural safety, proof of ownership, and required approvals,” according to al-Watan newspaper.

Jazairli added that the announcement comes to “resolve the leaked claims and ensure accuracy of the information,” after the end of the committee’s meeting responsible for the return issue of the Yarmouk camp residents.

He pointed out that the number of objections has reached 2,900 up to the suspension decision of the second regulatory plan of the Yarmouk Camp, which was put for “urban architectural reasons, and has no political purposes whatsoever.”

According to Jazairli, the Yarmouk Service Department’s center will return on 14 October to the previous location of the Yarmouk’s local committee to practice its administrative and technical work as part of the Services Departments in Damascus governorate.

The Executive Office member, Jazairli, confirmed that the instructions for submitting return applications by the Yarmouk camp residents would be issued within the next few days, stressing that “the decision was previously planned for and not instantaneous.”

Meanwhile, the “Action Group for the Palestinians of Syria (AGPS)” announced on 30 September that 50 Palestinian families had submitted their property legal papers to the Syrian security barrier at the 30th Street entrance in the Yarmouk camp to secure accommodation permits in the camp.

The AGPS added that a month after submitting the necessary papers, the families should expect a call from the military security branch in the al-Adawi area in Damascus to receive the security clearance allowing their return to their properties in the camp, provided that the required criteria set by the security apparatus are met by the residents.

As for the Yarmouk camp residents, they continue to demand a return to their properties to end their living and economic sufferings.

The “United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)” predicted in its report the “Emergency Appeal 2020” that most of the Yarmouk Camp’s population (between 500,000 and 600,000 persons, of which 160,000 are Palestinian refugees) would remain in displacement.

The report also pointed out the limited access to the camp and the enormous magnitude of destruction there.

According to the AGPS’s statistics, about 3,000 families from the Yarmouk camp live in Yalda town, while other 5,000 families in Qudsaya city. Besides, hundreds of families from the Yarmouk camp are living now in Jaramana city and its camp, about 100 families in Jdeidet al-Fadil town, which is linked administratively to al-Qunaytirah province, while 300 families live in Jdeidet Artouz town, as well as in Sahnaya town, Khirbat al-Ward village, and other areas.

About 5,000 families from the Yarmouk camp have taken refuge in Lebanon, in addition to hundreds of families who risked their children’s lives and boarded on “death boats” to reach Europe searching for security and safety and were distributed according to the follow-up and monitoring of the AGPS in more than 20 countries.

The Yarmouk camp currently hosts between 100 and 150 families, some of whom experienced the camp siege and lived there throughout that period from 2013 to 2018. While the other part is the families of the Palestinian factions, who fought alongside the Syrian regime.

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  4. Despite promises… Major difficulties deny Yarmouk Camp's residents' return and proof of ownership

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