Residents of Khan Eshieh Palestinian refugee camp complain about electrical cable theft: Who is to blame?

The Khan Eshieh Palestinian refugee camp in western Rif Dimashq ( Action Group for Palestinians of Syria)

The Khan Eshieh Palestinian refugee camp in western Rif Dimashq ( Action Group for Palestinians of Syria)

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The phenomenon of cable theft has been extremely spread throughout the Khan Eshieh Palestinian refugee camp (KEPRC) in western Rif Dimashq, whose residents suffer deteriorating living conditions. 

The Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS), on 28 November, quoted its correspondent as saying that the KEPRC has experienced a sharp increase in electrical cable theft recently, attributing this to the prolonged power outages— a power outage lasts for long hours, especially during the night— and the dire living conditions.

Activists of the KEPRC warned of an increase in the rate of abandoned home burglaries and the widespread phenomenon of electrical cable theft, from which even mosques were targeted. 

The AGPS said that the mosque of al-Rida was ripped off its electrical wires, highlighting that those in charge of the camp’s mosques are afraid that the cable thieves might target mosques as well.

Local sources stressed that this phenomenon titled “electric cable thefts” is new and has not previously spread in this way in the camp, most likely due to poor living conditions that may force some to commit, while others think that the perpetrators of this phenomenon are, in the first place, drug abusers. 

The people of the KEPRC suffer extremely high unemployment and lack of resources. In addition, the deterioration of the Syrian Pound’s value against foreign currencies contributed to worsening their living conditions, according to the AGPS. 

“A settlement agreement” that took place in the KEPRC between the Syrian opposition factions and the Syrian regime ended with the departure of the rebel fighters to Idlib, in late 2016. 

In August 2016, the factions in Khan Eshieh issued a statement calling for the neutralization of the camp from the violent conflict between the opposition factions and the Syrian regime forces.

The factions’ decision at that time came, given the camp’s neighborhoods were repeatedly targeted by the Syrian regime’s warplanes and artillery, which caused dozens of civilian casualties.

The Palestinian camps are distributed over several Syrian territories, including Daraa Camp in southern Syria, the camps of Sayyida Zaynab, Yarmouk, Jaramana, Sbeineh, Khan Duannun, Khan Eshieh, Hussainiya in Damascus and Rif Dimashq, al-Ramal Camp in Latakia, Returnee Camp in Hama, and the camps of al-Nayrab and Hendart in Aleppo. 

The Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) includes many activists and media professionals, and was launched in 2012, and works to document the violations committed against Palestinian refugees in Syria.

 

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