Over the past year more than 50,000 Palestinian refugees have fled violence, chaos and destitution in Syria to seek sanctuary in Lebanon. The vast majority have found themselves living in dire poverty, and trapped in chronically insecure existence.
Acute food shortages have reached desperate levels in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus. Leading religious figures in the camps have issued a fatwa permitting the killing and consumption of cats, dogs, mice, rats and donkeys.
The school system in Syria’s largest Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk, located in capital Damascus, has been shattered by the fighting that now bedevils the community and the siege that strangles the district. Some tenacious teachers are, however, refusing to leave the camp and are battling against odds to provide education to an ever-growing number of youngsters.
It was nine in the morning when the shell landed in front of nine-year-old Hella al-Abtah's house in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus. Hella survived the initial blast but was critically wounded in the head, and her father rushed her to the Palestine Hospital, blood pouring from the laceration.