The Ministry of Refugees announced Monday that the Syrian government has agreed to allocate 10 dunams of land to build houses for the hundreds of Palestinian refugees fleeing Baghdad.

The Ministry issued a press release Monday indicating that the Department of Information said “the implementation of the housing project, which will absorb 260 of the Palestinian refugees, will begin soon.”The Syrian government approved the project after a series of contacts and correspondence held by the Ministry with a number of authorities in Syria.General Director of the Ministry and Coordinator of the Follow-Up Committee, Hussam Ahmed, thanked the Syrian government for its approval and support of Palestinian refugees living in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria.


He pointed out the importance of the project to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians fleeing Iraq, particularly as they are currently living in tents in Syria and facing extremely difficult conditions. He stressed that construction of the new housing units would “alleviate some of the daily suffering and provide the beginnings of a dignified life.” He said that Syria is respecting its duties towards the Palestinian people in general and the rights of refugees in particular. Ahmed called on other Arab countries presently hosting refugees to open their doors to Palestinians who have been fleeing Iraq since the United States began its war several years ago and internal fighting there targeted the Palestinian community.


Head of the Hamas political bureau living in exile in Syria, Khalid Mashal, has been ready to coordinate with the the United Nations Relief Works Agency in establishing residential areas for Palestinians in Damascus on land allocated by the Syrian government. Mashal said that the UNWRA has shown willingness to take on its responsibility toward Palestinian refugees currently in the northern Damascus camp.


Ahmed expressed concerns for the Palestinian refugees that remain on the border between Iraq and Jordan in Ruwashid Refugee Camp and is asking that the Jordanian government allow the refugees to enter. The Jordanians have been reticent over the past year to take on any more Palestinian refugees, as the government in Amman suggests there are too many already. Some 70 to 85 percent of the Jordanian population is Palestinian after being forced from historic Palestine by the early Zionists and later by the state of Israel.