Amoun, 70, a blind Palestinian refugee who lived in the town of Aleppo in Syria, rests on a beach moments after arriving along with another forty on a dinghy in the Greek island of Kos.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday appealed to the United Nations to put pressure on Israel to allow Palestinian refugees from Syria and Lebanon to move to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Abbas asked the PA envoy to the UN to work with the UN secretary-general, Ban-ki Moon, to take the appropriate and necessary measures to absorb the refugees in the Palestinian territories, the PLO’s Wafa news agency reported.
The report did not mention which refugees Abbas was referring to. However, Palestinian sources in Ramallah said that Abbas was specifically referring to the refugees in Syria and Lebanon.
According to the report, Abbas wants the refugees to move to the West Bank and Gaza Strip to “stop their suffering, displacement and death as a result of the harsh conditions in the region.”
It said that the PA leadership considers this not only a humanitarian issue, “but a right for all Palestinians living in exile and in refugee camps.”
Meanwhile, PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani announced on Saturday that some of the Palestinians who fled their homes in Syria have begun returning to their camps.
Majdalani said that the refugees, who fled their homes because of the civil war in Syria, have begun returning in large numbers. He said that this came after the PA held discussions with the Syrian authorities over the fate of the refugees.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians, most of them from the Yarmouk camp near Damascus, have reported to have fled their homes over the past few years because of the fighting between the Syrian army and opposition groups.