World Bulletin / News Desk
Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, called on rebel fighters to leave the Yarmouk refugee camp in eastern Damascus on Wednesday.
"We call on all militants in the camp to leave to allow for the rescue of thousands of civilians inside," Hamas declared in a statement posted on its website.
The camp has been under siege by the Syrian army for more than 170 days, which has brought it close to total ruin.
Thousands of Palestinian refugees inside the camp continued to suffer from an extreme lack of essential items, including food and medicine.
International humanitarian organizations have been unable to deliver aid to camp residents since last September.
Hamas has called for lifting the siege on the camp and opening the doors to urgently-needed humanitarian assistance.
The group said the suffering of the besieged refugees was beyond the ability of anybody to tolerate, warning of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.
It lamented that more than 50 people had starved to death in the camp.
"We stress the need to keep Palestinian refugees out of the conflict in Syria," Hamas said.
It called on international organizations to shoulder their responsibilities vis-à-vis the refugees inside the camp and help save their lives.
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