Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, the head of UNRWA, left to visit Syria on Saturday to discuss the situation in Yarmouk, a ‘Palestinian’ refugee camp in Damascus, Syria, established in 1957, and actually a suburb of Damascus, with real buildings, streets and infrastructure, and not a tent city as the name implies.
All the relief workers have fled the neighborhood since Islamic State invaded, and the situation in the neighborhood has been described as “beyond inhumane”.
Reading through the purposefully vague wording of the official UNRWA press release, it appears that Krähenbühl will not actually visit the Yarmouk neighborhood, though it tries to give off the impression that he would.
On April 1, Islamic State (Da’esh) attacked and overran Yarmouk, a suburb in southern Damascus, fighting the local Hamas-affiliated terror group, Bait al-Maqdis, that controlled the neighorhood.
There is another terror group in the Sinai also named Bait al-Maqdis, who are thought to have had connections with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, but have since sworn allegiance to Islamic State.
Da’esh took over most of the southern Damascus neighborhood, and were reportedly assisted by members of Jabhat Al-Nusra who helped get them in.
Two years ago, Yarmouk had over 200,000 residents, but now they are down to less than 18,000. The neighborhood has been under siege by pro-Assad’s troops for the past two years. The PLO and other ‘Palestinian’ factions were among the first to flee in 2013.
Islamic State said they came in to liberate the residents from Assad’s siege.
On Friday, the Palestinian Authority/PLO has made it clear they have absolutely no intention of helping their compatriots militarily, contradicting an AP report quoting the PLO envoy to Damascus, Ahmad Majdalani, who said the PLO would join sides with the Syrian government to expel Da’esh from the Yarmouk neighborhood.
The PLO says it refuses “to be drawn into any armed campaign.” The Palestinian Authority has been undecided as to which side it should support in the Syrian civil war.
According to Al Jazeera,
Wasel Abu Yousef, a senior PLO official based in the West Bank town of Ramallah, said Friday that negotiating safe passage for Yarmouk’s besieged residents and for humanitarian supplies is preferable to military action.
Of course, since Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey are refusing to allow most ‘Palestinian’ refugees to enter their countries, it’s not clear where the safe passage would actually take them, except outside the latest immediate battle zone.
Left-wing groups in Israel have launched a new campaign to flood Israel with tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Yarmouk “Palestinian refugees” for “humanitarian” reasons, since their fellow Arabs and Muslims refuse to help them and grant them refuge.
Left-wing ideologues are trying to use the Yarmouk crisis to radically change the demographics of Judea and Samaria, while saying that Israel should ignore the political consequences of such an action.
In the Jerusalem Post, Gershon Baskin writes, “This is not the time to score political points… Israel should announce immediately its willingness to have those 18,000 remaining residents of Yarmouk come to the West Bank.”
A Haaretz Editorial wrote, “Israel could offer Abbas the possibility of absorbing some of the refugees into the Palestinian Authority… Political considerations and disputes with the PA should be set aside at this time.”
Islamic State’s control of Yarmouk gives Da’esh a strong foothold in Damascus, which they haven’t had before.
For the Israeli far-Left, their “solution” to this crisis aligns perfectly with their ongoing political agenda to get rid of Israeli control over historic Judea and Samaria – some might say, almost cynically so.