Yarmouck Camp: continuous siege, arbitrary shelling and use of chemical gas

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Palestinian Association for Human Rights/Syria
21 July 2013
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Yarmouck Camp: continuous siege, arbitrary shelling and use of chemical gas

Since 17th of December 2012, Yarmouck Camp for Palestinian Refugees is undergoing a severe siege by Syrian regime’s forces and the fighter of “PFLP – General Command” the Palestinian loyal faction to the Syrian regime. This complete blockade was interpreted into a ban on any food, supplies or fuel into the camp, with the arbitrary shelling, this blockade led to the death of hundreds of civilians inside the camp, until the moment of writing this statement, 5 civilians were documented died in the last 24 hours.

As per yesterday 20th of July 2013 the besieging forces escalated its attacks in an attempt to break into the camp, used toxic gas in targeting the camp according to eye witnesses from inside. Taking into consideration 100.000 civilians besieged inside. 
According to the International Humanitarian Law which applies on the Syrian crisis, starvation of civilians intentionally by besieges and blockade is a crime, also according to article 8/Paragraph 25 of Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court:
” Intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including willfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under the Geneva Conventions;”
Taking into our consideration, the arbitrary shelling on Yarmouck Camp which put the life of thousands of civilians in danger and which violate the principles of Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court especially Article 8/Paragraph 4: “The Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”
As for the usage of Toxic Gas which another violation of many conventions is such as:
– The United NationsConvention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW or CCWC)
Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects
– Geneva Protocol 1925
For the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, Syria ratified on the convention on 1968
We at The Palestinian Association for Human Rights/Syria, call the Syrian authorities to stop immediately its attacks on Yarmouck Camp, due to the presence of thousands of civilians inside it. We call as well the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization), UNRWA, and the International Committee of Red Cross to intervene and urge the Syrian authorities to stop its operations on Yarmouck Camp and to break the continuous siege.

Palestinian Association for Human Rights/Syria
21 July 2013

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