Palestinian Refugees Arrive From Iraq
Two hundred and forty-four Palestinian
refugees, who had been stranded at Trebil, Iraq's border point with
Jordan, have today arrived in Syria.
In a joint IOM, UNHCR and UNRWA operation in
coordination with both the Syrian and Iraqi authorities, the
Palestinians, who started leaving Baghdad in mid March out of fear
for their security, are currently on their way to the El Hol camp
in al- Hasakah province. The camp is just over 700 kilometres
northeast of Damascus and an eight-hour drive from the Iraqi-Syrian
border point of Al Tanf.
The group had left Trebil this morning for the
journey to Syria aboard an IOM convoy made up of nine buses and two
trucks carrying tents, personal belongings and other relief
supplies provided to the refugees over the past weeks. Initially
numbering 181, the group had been joined in recent days by
additional families following announcements that Syria had agreed
to receive the stranded group. IOM and staff and medical personnel
attended to the group throughout their journey to the Syrian
The transfer to Syria was organized in close
coordination with UNHCR, which had earlier registered the group and
provided relief assistance, and the UN’s agency for
Palestinian refugees, UNWRA, who will take care of the
group’s needs in Syria.
After clearing Iraqi border formalities, the
group was met by staff from IOM Damascus and UNRWA before
continuing the journey to El Hol.
Potential arrangements are still being
explored in favour of additional families who had reached the
Syrian border spontaneously yesterday. Today’s transfer of
the Palestinian refugees to Syria, many of whom are women and
children, brings an end to a difficult situation for the group at
Trebil where bad weather had put a strain on living conditions.
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