Russia delivers humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Syria

Palestinians fleeing the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus are seen at a Lebanese border crossing with Syria, December 2012.

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) – Two Russian heavy-lift transport planes on Thursday delivered a total of 70 metric tons of humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees in Syria, Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said.

“The two Il-76 planes have landed at the Latakia airport,” ministry spokesman Oleg Voronov said. “The aid was provided by the Russian government as part of humanitarian support for the Palestinian refugees living on the territory of Syria.”

The issue of Palestinian refugees and their descendants, whose number is estimated at 5 million, and their right to return to their homes from which they have fled as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, has been a major sticking point in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

One-third of the registered Palestinian refugees, more than 1.4 million, live in 58 recognized refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The Russian Foreign Ministry said last year that it would allocate $2 million to the UNRWA in 2013 as the problems of Palestinian refugees “had been aggravated due to complicated transformation processes in the Middle East,” largely referring to the ongoing civil war in Syria.

By Ria Novosti

 

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