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Abbas urges relief for besieged Yarmouk camp

Jan. 3, 2014 5:21 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 4, 2014 11:18 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday called on all parties involved to facilitate the entrance of supplies into the besieged Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus.

Abbas stressed the need for relief "in order to save the lives" of the camp's Palestinian refugees, who have been under a state of siege by Syrian regime forces since July.

The presidential office said in a statement that the Palestinian leadership is putting all its efforts to end the siege on the camp.

The statement added that a number of delegations have been sent to Syria in order to help end the siege and provide supplies with the help of international organizations.

After rebels seized control of Yarmouk in December 2012, the camp became embroiled in the armed fighting taking place across Syria and came under heavy regime assault. Regime forces eventually encircled the camp and in July imposed a siege, leading to a rapid deterioration of living conditions.

Fatah leader Abbas Zaki told Ma'an in mid-October that Yarmouk's population of 250,000 had dwindled to 18,000 after two and a half years of conflict in Syria.

The Syrian conflict, which began as peaceful protests in March 2011 but developed into a civil war, has killed more than 120,000 people and prompted millions to flee their homes.
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