Palestinian in Damascus: 'I Want Israeli Citizenship'

Monday, January 20, 2014 |  Israel Today Staff

Refugee camp resident in Damascus living under 'suffocating siege' says Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab world to blame for starvation

Two thousand Palestinians have been killed in Syria's ongoing civil war, a drop in the bucket compared to the 120,000 estimated overall deaths. But many of those Palestinian casualties are the result of starvation, and many are children.

Syrian government forces defending the capital of Damascus have taken to imposing a "suffocating siege" on outlying neighborhoods that are under rebel control.

In many cases, the residents of those neighborhoods are wholly unable to obtain basic food and medical supplies. The situation has become so bad that Muslim clerics have ruled that it is permissible for locals to eat cats, dogs, donkeys and other animal carcasses to survive.

One of the neighborhoods suffering under the siege is the Palestinian "refugee camp" of Yarmuk, which before the war was home to some 400,000 people.

Yarmuk has now been under siege for months, and at least 50 local residents, including children, have died of starvation.

A video that made its way out of Yarmuk and was posted to YouTube (see below) shows how difficult the situation has become. One of the residents even tells the camera that he wants to become an Israeli citizen, because Israel actually cares for its own.

The man explains that if even one Israeli child was found in Yarmuk, a solution to the neighborhood's problems would have been found long ago. He goes on to accuse Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and the rest of the Arab Muslim nations of having abandoned the Palestinians living in Syria.

Earlier this month, Abbas addressed the situation in Yarmuk during a meeting in Ramallah. However, he refused to mention the Syrian regime, let alone condemn the policy of "suffocating siege" that it imposes on rebel-held neighborhoods. Instead, Abbas placed the blame on the rebels themselves for having taken up positions in neighborhoods like Yarmuk, and on foreign powers for funding the rebels.

The video below is in Arabic, but it remains a powerful testimony to the hellish existence civilians in Syria are currently living:


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