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A peaceful initiative for Al-Yarmouk Camp
November, 2013

Days quickly go by and Al-Yarmouk Camp lives in a tragic state, in the shadow of the closure of the roads going in and out, and the blockade imposed on it. This led to a terrifying lack of all sorts of food, even bread, which is something vital. This scenario within the Camp created a horrible situation that generated black markets and an increase in the price of food, cereals, vegetables and preserves, besides the excessive and historic increase in the price of cigarettes. It reached a point in which daily news coming out of the Camp are incredible, although they are true and correctly reflect its present situation.

The Camp is living the consequence of clashes at its own points of access, and bombings continue against its various neighborhoods with all sorts of weapons. This results in the death of martyrs and wounded among unarmed civilians and the destruction of houses. This is besides the campaigns of generalized burglaries organized by armed groups that have been going on for several months and did not spare any house. The confiscations or the burglaries comprehended everything, not only food, but also electric appliances disappeared from the homes, as well as clothing among other things. This aggravated even more the disastrous situation of the inhabitants of Al-Yarmouk.

The question now posed is: has the Palestinian Camp of Al-Yarmouk turned into a part of the Syrian conflict and its solution cannot be addressed until all of the Syrian cause has been resolved, and arrive at peaceful solutions by all the parties, or can the issue of Al-Yarmouk be addressed apart from the rest of the matters? And thus to pose a special peaceful initiative that would allow the withdrawal of armed groups, the lifting of the blockade, the opening of the accesses and the return of its inhabitants. This would be besides allowing the access of food, the needed medical supplies for its clinics and public hospitals and to work in favour of rendering normal conditions to all the neighbourhoods of the Camp with the aim of recovering safety and stability for its inhabitants and for whoever would wish to seek refuge in it.

It is well known that Al-Yarmouk is not part of the Syrian crisis. Its Palestinian inhabitants have always been careful when taking a positive partisan position with respect to what is going on in Syria. They welcomed the displaced and the refugees from nearby neighbourhoods and called on the neutrality of the Camp (of all camps) and their non involvement in the war to avoid the catastrophic effects of clashes and to protect them as quiet and safe areas for their inhabitants and for those who sought refuge in them from neighboring areas and cities affected by the catastrophic clashes and the war in Syria.

The positive partisanship expressed by Palestinians implies to remain uninvolved in the conflict and to be always calling on the cessation of clashes, in order for all the different parties of the Syrian crisis to arrive at peaceful arrangements, and to reject every type of external intervention in Syrian affairs because it stimulates violence and adds fuel to the fire.

Al-Yarmouk Camp is overwhelmed by the weight and its inhabitants daily ask for help; it is time to open the path to reasonable solutions and to pose peaceful initiatives to protect what is left of the camp and to save its inhabitants.


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