(JNS.org) “War crimes, starvation and death” are being carried out against Palestinians in Syria, according to a new report issued by Amnesty International ahead of the three-year anniversary of the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
The report, “Squeezing the Life Out of Yarmouk: War Crimes Against Besieged Civilians,” highlights the war crimes and crimes against humanity being carried out by the Syrian government against Palestinian and Syrian civilians in the Damascus suburb of Yarmouk.
According to Amnesty, more than 200 people have died in Yarmouk, where government forces have repeatedly carried out attacks, including air raids and shelling with heavy weapons, on civilian buildings such as schools, hospitals, and a mosque.
“Life in Yarmouk has grown increasingly unbearable for desperate civilians who find themselves starving and trapped in a downward cycle of suffering with no means of escape,” stated Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.
“Civilians of Yarmouk are being treated like pawns in a deadly game in which they have no control,” he said.
Prior to the Syrian civil war, Yarmouk was home to Syria’s largest Palestinian refugee community, numbering around 180,000 Palestinians, as well as several thousand Syrians. According to the report, only 17,000-20,000 people remain—mostly elderly, the sick or families with young children.