Published on Dec 17, 2012
euronews.com If pictures being broadcast on You tube are genuine, then they show rebels storming the
largest Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus.
The Free Syrian Army claims to have launched an operation inside the Yarmouk camp against a Palestinian pro-Assad group led by veteran militant Ahmed Jibril.
If proven, it will draw into the crisis most of Syria’s 500 000 Palestinian refugees who live in the camp on the southern edge of the capital.
Meanwhile, Syria’s Vice President has told a newspaper he believes neither side can prevail and
a process of conflict resolution is needed. Farouq al-Sharaa is the most prominent so far to say publicly that Assad will not win.
Meanwhile, parts of the city of Aleppo have been flattened by the fighting. Not much is left of the Karm al Jabal neighbourhood after days of fierce fighting. Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Haliki has pledged millions in reconstruction aid, according to state television.
Syrian government troops stormed an area of Damascus populated by Palestinian refugees on Saturday after a four-day artillery assault on the southern suburb where rebels have been sheltering, opposition activists said.
President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have largely preferred to use air power and artillery to hit areas where rebels are dug in, deploying infantry only once many have fled. Activists said the new ground onslaught put civilians at risk.
The almost 18-month-old conflict also spilled further over borders when three rockets fired from Syria crashed into an Iraqi frontier town, killing a 5-year-old girl, according to local inhabitants and Iraqi officials.
Anxious to end the bloodshed, European Union diplomats said on Saturday the 27-nation bloc might impose new sanctions on the Syrian government as soon as next month.
Speaking after visiting a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he saw “the first signs of erosion in the regime of Assad”.
“It is necessary we isolate the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” he told a news conference.
After World War II, the British left Palestine, which was to be partitioned into two independent nations. One would have a Jewish majority, the other a Muslim majority. About 750,000 Muslims left the territories that became Israel. A similar number of Jews left Arab/Muslim lands. Today, not one of the Jews remains a refugee. But there are still Palestinian refugees — indeed, their number has mushroomed to almost 5 million. How is that possible? Through two mechanisms. First of all, a refugee, by definition, lives on foreign soil, but for Palestinians the definition has been changed, so that a displaced Palestinian on Palestinian soil also receives refugee status. Second, the international organization responsible for resettling refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was cut out from the start. A new organization was set up exclusively for Palestinians: the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
In 1950, UNRWA defined a refugee as someone who had “lost his home and his means of livelihood” during the war launched by Arab/Muslim countries in response to Israel’s declaration of independent statehood. Fifteen years later, UNRWA decided — against objections from the United States — to include as refugees the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of those who left Israel. And in 1982, UNRWA further extended eligibility to all subsequent generations of descendants — forever.
Some clear talk about UNWRA and the artificial inflation of Palestinian “refugee” numbers. A UN agency working hand in glove with a hostile people to destroy a sovereign nation.
Required reading for anyone who refers to the Resolution, without actually having read it. In other words, 99.99% of everybody who has ever said “Resolution 242 demands…”
Lastly, Resolution 242 speaks of “a just settlement of the refugee problem,” not
‘the Palestinian or Arab refugee problem.’ The history of the resolution shows
that it was intentional and reflected recognition that the Arab-Israeli conflict
created two refugee populations, not one. Parallel to the estimated 600,000
Arabs who left Israel, more than 899,00012
Jews fled from Arab countries in the
aftermath of the 1948 war – 650,000 of them finding asylum in Israel.
A history of the behind-the-scenes work drafting the resolution shows that the
former Soviet Union Ambassador Vasiliy Vasilyevich Kuznetsov sought to restrict
the term ‘just settlement’ to Palestinian refugees only. But former U.S. Justice
Arthur J. Goldberg, the American Ambassador to the UN who played a key role in
the ultimate language adopted, pointed out:
“A notable omission in 242 is any reference to Palestinians, a Palestinian state on
the West Bank or the PLO. The resolution addresses the objective of ‘achieving a
just settlement of the refugee problem.’ This language presumably refers both to
Arab and Jewish refugees, for about an equal number of each abandoned their
homes as a result of the several wars.”