At least 15 Palestinians have died from starvation since last September in the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and some 20,000 face starvation.
As Khaled Abu Toameh reports, it is not only the Syrians who are besieging the camp. A radical Palestinian group called Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, which is loyal to Bashar Assad, is also taking part in the siege.
Although the Palestinian leadership led by Mahmood Abbas is expertly versed in petitioning the international community when it comes to its conflict with Israel, the suffering of Palestinians outside of the West Bank has not moved the leadership to appeal to the international community or international bodies such as the United Nations. Nor has the international community mobilized to stop the siege.
As Toameh notes, “the PLO leadership has stopped short of calling for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council or the Arab League to end the suffering of the Palestinian refugees in Syria. The Arab League did meet recently in Cairo at the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. But the gathering was called not to discuss the plight of the Palestinian refugees, but to talk about Kerry’s latest proposals for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians”.
In other words, in order to qualify for concern Israel must somehow be implicated.