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Palestinian delegation arrives in Damascus to 'rescue' camps

Nov. 9, 2013 4:30 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 10, 2013 10:12 A.M.)
DAMASCUS (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian delegation arrived Saturday in Damascus headed by a member of the PLO executive committee, Zakariya al-Agha, to study the situation of Palestinian refugees in Syria.

In a statement, al-Agha emphasized the need to maintain the Palestinian camps in Syria as neutral zones and to ensure the safe passage of Palestinian refugees.

"Palestinian and Syrian officials have agreed previously to form a committee to follow up and implement the initiatives to keep camps neutral and to secure the return of refugees to their homes," he said.

Al-Agha added: "This visit is a continuation of the previous visits to follow up with what we have agreed upon with the Syrian side."

"The delegation will discuss with Syrian officials the issue of missing Palestinian refugees," noting that the delegation would follow up on the cases of hundreds of Palestinian refugees who are currently missing.

The delegation will stay in Syria for several days and will meet with Palestinian factions, the Syrian foreign minister, and the director of the Palestinian file in Syria, Faisal Al-Miqdad.

At least 1,500 Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing Syria conflict, and around 250,000 Palestinian refugees have been forced to leave their refugee camps in Syria due to violence in the country.

Prior to the conflict, 600,000 Palestinian refugees lived in Syria.

Around 800,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes inside Israel during the 1948 conflict that led to the creation of the State of Israel, and today their descendants number around five million, spread across the world.
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