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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
18 January 2013

UNRWA condemns killing of Palestine refugees and other civilians in Syria

18 January 2013, East Jerusalem - Reports are emerging that following a day of intense armed engagements in Husseiniyeh in southern Rif Damascus, as many as 12 Palestine refugees have been killed and some 20 injured.

The fatalities and casualties are said to include women and children. UNRWA condemns the killing of Palestine refugees and other civilians and again calls on the parties to pull back from civilian areas, including refugee camps and to abide by their obligations under international law.

UNRWA repeats its call to all sides to protect civilians and to resolve their differences through dialogue and political negotiations.

- Ends -

Background information:

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund, supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at USD 68 million.

For more information, please contact:

Chris Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724

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