More Palestinian refugees from Iraq allowed into Syria UN agency reports
A group of 43 Palestinians who had remained behind on the Syria-Iraq border on Tuesday when nearly 250 others were allowed entry into Syria have now been allowed into the country, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reported today.The group entered Syria on Wednesday night following talks between UNHCR and Syrian authorities, agency spokeswoman Jennifer Pagonis told reporters in Geneva.Six of the 43 were part of a group that had been stranded at Trebil, on the Iraqi side of the border with Jordan, for nearly two months. The other 37 Palestinians had travelled directly from Baghdad to the Iraq-Syria border. They were taken to the UNHCR-run El Hol refugee camp by UNHCR, joining the other 244 who had arrived on Tuesday.“UNHCR is providing food and accommodation to all refugees and will continue to do so until the group is handed over to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency), which is responsible for Palestinians in the Near East,” Ms. Pagonis said.Most of the Palestinians now in Syria left Baghdad in March, fearing increased intimidation, kidnapping and killings, according to UNHCR. Many had spent most of the lives in Iraq or were born there. More than 30,000 Palestinians are believed to be still living in Iraq.