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Procedure : 2015/2664(RSP)
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Texts tabled :

RC-B8-0373/2015

Debates :

PV 30/04/2015 - 16.2
CRE 30/04/2015 - 16.2

Votes :

PV 30/04/2015 - 17.2

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0187

Debates
Thursday, 30 April 2015 - Strasbourg Revised edition

16.2. The situation of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria
Video of the speeches
PV
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt folgt die Aussprache über sieben Entschließungsanträge zur Situation des Flüchtlingslagers Jarmuk in Syrien (2015/2664(RSP)).

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat, auteure. Monsieur le Président, Yarmouk est un symbole: tout d'abord celui de la résistance palestinienne. Construit pour accueillir une partie des 800 000 réfugiés palestiniens expulsés suite à la Nakba en 1948 et au vote de la résolution 194 des Nations unies sur le droit au retour des réfugiés palestiniens, ce camp est devenu une véritable ville, comptant jusqu'à 180 000 habitants, dotée d'écoles, d'hôpitaux, de bâtiments publics et d'artères commerciales, et bénéficiant de l'aide de l'UNRWA en matière de santé et d'éducation, notamment.

Yarmouk était aussi devenu un symbole de mixité sociale, puisque beaucoup de Syriens démunis bénéficiaient des équipements sociaux du camp. Symbole aussi des dégâts et du coût international du non-règlement du conflit israélo-palestinien. Symbole encore des dégâts du conflit syrien et des conséquences de celui-ci sur les réfugiés palestiniens: dès 2011, la majeure partie des réfugiés de Yarmouk ont fui ailleurs, le camp étant tout près de Damas. Symbole de la situation du demi-million de réfugiés palestiniens en Syrie, dont la moitié ont été déplacés et 80 000 se sont réfugiés dans les pays voisins, qui accueillent désormais près de 4 millions de réfugiés en provenance de Syrie. Symbole aussi des imbroglios entre les forces en présence en Syrie, car les combattants du groupe "'État islamique" n'ont pu entrer dans ce camp sans la complicité des forces d'Al-Nosra et sans doute aussi sans celle de l'armée syrienne.

Oui, aujourd'hui, la situation des Palestiniens de Yarmouk est dramatique, puisqu'ils y sont privés de toute aide humanitaire. L'UNRWA, dont les fonds ont été considérablement réduits, n'a plus accès au camp. La pénurie d'eau, de nourriture et de médicaments ajoute ses ravages à ceux des combats. Aujourd'hui, au moins 170 personnes sont mortes de faim à Yarmouk.

Oui, la communauté internationale doit réagir, et l'Union européenne doit mettre tout son poids dans la balance pour que les Palestiniens du camp de Yarmouk ne fassent pas les frais d'un conflit qui n'est pas le leur et dont ils doivent être protégés.

 
  
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  Alyn Smith, author. Mr President, I will start by congratulating the rapporteurs and colleagues for the very constructive way in which we put this motion together. I think there is a great deal to be recommended within it.

I very much support our previous speaker who set out the background to the Yarmouk refugee camp. Even the way it is described is slightly misleading; this is a long-established Palestinian settlement on the outskirts of Damascus, more of a suburb of a city rather than a camp in its own right. It has been in existence since 1957. It was supposed, of course, to be temporary, but until Palestinian refugees can go home they remain particularly vulnerable. That is where this resolution is important. The Palestinian people are particularly vulnerable within Syria, with upwards of 480 000 Palestinian refugees scattered across 60 camps throughout the wider region. Ninety-five percent of these people rely on UNRWA for their daily needs.

The camp was besieged by the Assad regime forces, creating a humanitarian disaster, and then became a battleground for various other factions, and remains so now. The chaos is a humanitarian crisis unfolding on the very outskirts of the Syrian capital. We must see, as we have expressed in paragraph 9, humanitarian pauses in the fighting as proposed by UN Special Envoy De Mistura. We must also see the EU, as we state in paragraph 10, play a much greater role in brokering a political solution within Syria, and I would also add Palestine to give the refugees a home to go to.

We welcome, of course, Commissioner, the humanitarian aid the EU has given, but in this case the criticism of the EU as a payer rather than a player has never been more just. We must, for the people in the region and indeed ourselves, do better to foster a political solution.

 
  
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  Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Autor. Domnule președinte, doresc, în primul când, să le mulțumesc tuturor colegilor care s-au implicat în redactarea acestei rezoluții și să subliniez faptul că documentul final reflectă opinia comună a tuturor grupurilor parlamentare cu privire la gravitatea și urgența situației din tabăra de refugiați Yarmouk.

Vreau să salut alocarea, de către Comisia Europeană, a celor 2,5 milioane de euro, care au contribuit în mod direct și imediat la salvarea de vieți omenești. Este absolut necesar ca Uniunea Europeană și statele membre să își sporească efortul financiar în alocarea fondurilor de care Agenția de lucru pentru refugiați a ONU are nevoie și, cu acestă ocazie, vreau să salut Agenția și să o felicit pentru munca extraordinară pe care o desfășoară.

Condamn cu fermitate atrocitățile comise împotriva civililor din Yarmouk. Consider că avem obligația să nu rămânem indiferenți și să acționăm de urgență pentru a asigura securitatea civililor și dreptul lor la o viață mai bună. Această tabără de refugiați are un caracter neutru și această neutralitate trebuie respectată, prin asigurarea protecției vieții civililor și, mai ales, a celor mai vulnerabili dintre ei, femeile și copiii, și cu asigurarea accesului în tabără pentru a putea oferi sprijin umanitar refugiaților.

Salut anunțatele discuții de la Geneva și sper ca ele să ducă cât mai repede la o soluție sustenabilă de încetare a conflictului. De asemenea, consider că Uniunea Europeană trebuie să preia inițiativa diplomatică și politică în efortul de stabilizare a zonei și de încetare a conflictului armat.

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao, author. Mr President, there is an ongoing denial of humanitarian access to the refugees living in the Yarmouk camp by the Syrian regime and other belligerents. The situation is worsened by the fact that UNRWA is gravely undermined by chronic underfunding for humanitarian interventions in Yarmouk.

With this resolution Parliament calls for the European Union to contribute to joint efforts to mitigate the humanitarian crisis and play a role in helping neighbouring countries to provide shelter for refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria. A fundamental step in this direction is to take measures to avoid people risking their lives on boats in the Mediterranean Sea, and to create safe ways for them to reach Europe, such as humanitarian visas and corridors.

 
  
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  Javier Nart, autor. Señor Presidente, la solidaridad no es un concepto esquizofrénico ―depende de dónde se produzca―, sino igual.

Yarmuk lleva tres años de asedio, con un bloqueo parcial durísimo por parte del Gobierno sirio, bombardeado desde hace tres años, lo que ha causado cientos de muertos: 160 000 palestinos, consecuencia de la limpieza étnica del norte de Palestina.

Gaza lleva más de diez años en una situación de bloqueo total con bombardeos inmisericordes que han generado miles de muertos. La diferencia es que en un caso es por un régimen criminal y por una organización terrorista y, en el otro, por un régimen que actúa de una forma similar, pero que llamamos democrático.

Bloquear y bombardear a la población civil es un crimen igual, lo haga quien lo haga, y la solidaridad debe ser igual: en Yarmuk y en Gaza.

Yo espero ―y desespero― que en este Parlamento tengamos la misma sensibilidad para Gaza que la que tenemos para Yarmuk, solidaridad de la que me congratulo.

 
  
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  Josef Weidenholzer, Verfasser. Herr Präsident! Jarmuk ist einer jener Plätze auf dieser Welt, wo sich das gesamte Leid zu konzentrieren scheint und wo Menschlichkeit sich zu Unmenschlichkeit verzerrt. Menschen, die aus ihrem Land – aus Palästina – flüchten mussten bzw. vertrieben wurden, haben hier eine provisorische Heimat gefunden, ohne darauf hoffen zu können, dass sie jemals wieder aus diesem Provisorium herauskommen. Sie sind zwischen die Fronten geraten, und sie sind vom schlimmsten Feind, den man sich vorstellen kann – vom Da’isch/IS – eingenommen worden. Diese Situation nannte ein UN-Vertreter beyond inhumane. Ich glaube, dass diese Entschließung ein erster wichtiger Schritt ist, dass das nicht vergessen wird. Wir müssen auch die Mittel bereithalten, um, sobald es wieder möglich ist, den Menschen zu helfen. Vor allem müssen wir aber sicherstellen, dass alles getan wird, dass, wenn dieses Grauen vorbei ist, eine Strafverfolgung möglich sein wird.

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil, za skupinu PPE. Pane předsedající, já chci jenom říci, že vítám návrh usnesení, které je tady debatováno. Myslím si, že ten návrh je dostatečně vyvážený. Samozřejmě je nutné v úvodu napsat a vyzvat strany občanské války v Sýrii, aby přestaly útočit na tábor Jarmúk, který objektivně je dneska jedním z nejtemnějších, nejsmutnějších míst na této planetě a dochází tam k obrovské humanitární katastrofě. Já se však obávám, že spíše zůstane u slov. Co je důležité a co považuji za konkrétní podporu a pomoc je to, že Evropská unie, konkrétně Evropská komise, uvolňuje částku 2,5 milionu EUR a že tyto peníze budou použity na podporu lidí, kteří trpí občanskou válkou v Sýrii a konkrétně v táboře Jarmúk. Je otázkou, na kolik ta částka je dostatečná, myslím si, že by do budoucna mělo být debatováno, jestli by tato částka neměla být ještě navýšena, a dále bychom měli velmi tvrdě vyzývat a vyzvat – a také to je v daném dokumentu –, aby hlavně znepřátelené strany umožnily mezinárodním humanitárním organizacím peníze, které jsou takto uvolněné, využít na konkrétní humanitární pomoc a dopravit ji k těm, kteří tuto humanitární pomoc potřebují. Jinak zůstane pouze u slov, budou zde peníze, ale konkrétní pomoc za ně nebude poskytnuta. Vítám tedy návrh usnesení a podporuji jej.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella, au nom du groupe S&D. Monsieur le Président, dans le camp de Yarmouk, la situation des réfugiés est humainement insupportable, et ce depuis plus de trois ans.

Cette résolution sert certainement à alerter l'opinion publique internationale sur cette situation dramatique trop peu connue. Elle a aussi un intérêt dans le contexte d'un conflit qui est loin d'être résolu en Syrie. Elle est révélatrice du rôle de l'Union européenne, qui, aux côtés d'autres puissances, doit pouvoir agir dans le conflit syrien, qui est lui-même à la base de nombreux problèmes, tels que celui des réfugiés et de leur situation humanitaire catastrophique, mais aussi des migrations forcées, qui sont synonymes de drames humains qu'il conviendrait de soulager.

Voilà pourquoi cette résolution a toute sa pertinence, et j'espère qu'elle sera soutenue par l'ensemble des collègues.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group. Mr President, the people in Yarmouk, Syria, face a particularly horrible situation, as do many other innocent people in Syria. They are attacked by the nihilist jihadists of Da’esh and with barrel bombs and other attacks by the murderous regime of President Assad. The war in Syria must be stopped and the EU must lead efforts, diplomatic and otherwise.

Humanitarian aid will require much more money, not only from the EU but especially from Arab countries and others who have not taken up their share of the burden. We have heard the massive outcry after the horrible and tragic deaths in the Mediterranean; I share the sense of sorrow. And the immense misery of the people in and from Syria and the rest of the Middle East region must be met with a more forceful answer from Europe.

When we speak of shelter in the region, at least the most basic of needs must be provided for and it must be safe for people. Indeed – and I agree with my colleague, Josef Weidenholzer – we must bring to justice the perpetrators of these atrocious crimes and attacks against innocent people.

 
  
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  Miguel Urbán Crespo, en nombre del Grupo GUE/NGL. Señor Presidente. La población de Yarmuk sufre desde hace más de dos años el asedio de las fuerzas de Bachar el Asad y, desde abril, del llamado Estado Islámico. Una catástrofe humanitaria que muestra la incapacidad de la comunidad internacional para parar las matanzas y sortear el asedio a Yarmuk.

Yarmuk simboliza la ausencia de un apoyo internacional a los procesos democráticos en Siria y en el resto de la región, lo que ha reforzado tanto a las dictaduras como a los grupos extremistas. Simboliza también la falta de solución para la ocupación de Palestina, que pasaría, entre otras medidas, por el cumplimiento de la Resolución de las Naciones Unidas que insta a Israel a aceptar el retorno de los refugiados palestinos.

Cualquier solución debe empezar por el levantamiento del bloqueo impuesto por el régimen, la entrada de la ayuda humanitaria y el diálogo entre las milicias palestinas. La comunidad internacional y las Naciones Unidas deben cumplir sus responsabilidades. En este sentido, la Unión Europea debe asumir su responsabilidad con los refugiados que llegan de Siria a nuestras costas.

 
  
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  Jonathan Arnott, on behalf of the EFDD Group. Mr President, yesterday I spoke in this Chamber about the attacks on Christians in Kenya and elsewhere, and there were comments on social media asking why I mentioned that and not other religions. But of course that is what yesterday’s debate was about, and today we are discussing a humanitarian crisis at the Yarmouk refugee camp, which has actually grown to be an awful lot more than just a camp. I would like to assure this House and others that I utterly condemn the way in which the Palestinian people have been treated, every bit as much as I condemned yesterday.

As these injustices continue across that part of that world, day in and day out, I am saddened by the thought that so much of this has its roots in a militarily interventionist foreign policy which has failed in its attempt to protect vulnerable people. In healthcare there is a principle: first do no harm, and that principle goes all the way back to the Hippocratic Oath. Perhaps that principle should be considered by governments over their foreign policies.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Arnautu (NI). Monsieur le Président, je suis opposée à cette résolution, car elle ne reflète pas du tout la réalité de la situation. Il n'est pas acceptable de mettre toutes les forces en présence sur le même plan. Le camp de réfugiés palestiniens de Yarmouk est victime de l'occupation de groupes armés islamistes, que ce soient le groupe "État islamique", le front Al-Nosra ou d'autres groupes rebelles, dont la plupart des membres ne sont ni Syriens, ni Palestiniens, mais bien des djihadistes venant du monde entier.

Vous citez le groupe palestinien Ansar Bait al-Maqdis parmi les groupes rebelles, mais vous semblez ignorer que le 19 avril dernier, ce groupe a accepté de se rallier aux forces syriennes loyalistes dans leur lutte contre le terrorisme. Ce texte est donc révélateur de la méconnaissance que nous avons de la situation sur le terrain. C'est pourquoi, plutôt que de voter des résolutions inutiles et partiales, il serait peut-être plus souhaitable qu'une délégation de députés européens se rende sur place pour s'entretenir avec les différents acteurs locaux.

 
  
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  Csaba Sógor (PPE). Mr President, the people who remain in the Yarmouk refugee camp are, as Ban Ki-Moon described it, in the ‘deepest circle of hell’ resulting from Syria’s four-year-long civil war. It is almost unimaginable what these people have gone through prior to April 2015, but what is taking place now in Yarmouk is gruesome. It is also symptomatic of the complexity of the conflict in the region, as these people are caught between the al-Nusra front, the Syrian army, ISIS and many more violent groups and actors.

The European Union provided emergency funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) at the beginning of April. I would hereby like to call on the European Union and the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) to develop special measures that are aimed at supporting the most vulnerable groups in conflict-ridden societies: children, women, elderly people, disabled people and ethnic and religious minorities.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). Senhor Presidente, Yarmouk é uma acabrunhante acusação à nossa civilização e ao obsoleto sistema de regulação internacional que não reformamos por falhanço de liderança a nível europeu e global. Yarmouk mostra a incapacidade do Conselho de Segurança da ONU em ao menos fazer valer o princípio humanitário da proteção de civis em tempo de guerra, deixando que grupos terroristas opositores às forças do regime terrorista de Assad se confrontem violentamente num campo onde só se encontram civis, refugiados, ainda por cima vítimas de um conflito ainda mais antigo. É insuportável que três anos passados, ainda hoje não esteja garantido acesso e apoio humanitário aos refugiados palestinianos de Yarmouk. É insuportável que os membros permanentes do Conselho de Segurança, outros Estados ou a própria União Europeia ainda não tenham garantido apoio financeiro adequado à UNRWA para que possa manter a ajuda a partir do próximo verão. Yarmouk interpela as nossas consciências: onde está a Europa? Onde está a responsabilidade de proteger na Síria? Porque abandonámos não apenas estra doutrina que nos impunha intervir humanitariamente, mas de facto porque abandonámos o povo sírio e os refugiados que a Síria acolhia?

 
  
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  José Inácio Faria (ALDE). Senhor Presidente, várias áreas de Yarmouk, o maior campo de refugiados palestinos, da Síria, foram tomadas pelos jiadistas do autoproclamado Estado islâmico com a colaboração do Al-Nusra, o braço sírio da Al-Qaeda, no passado dia 1 de abril. Cerca de 18 mil civis palestinos e sírios, entre os quais se incluem 3 500 crianças, encontram-se sitiados, numa situação humanitária totalmente catastrófica após dois anos de um cerco praticamente total imposto pelo regime sírio. Sem água corrente, comida ou acesso a medicamentos, e agora transformados em verdadeiros escudos humanos pelos jiadistas, a sua situação é trágica. É urgente que o campo seja reconhecido como território neutro no âmbito do conflito sírio e que seja permitida a entrada de funcionários da UNRWA, a agência da ONU para os refugiados palestinianos, e de outras organizações humanitárias internacionais, em Yarmouk para garantir a proteção e assistência aos civis no campo e a abertura de um corredor humanitário que permita evacuar aqueles que desejam abandonar o local.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD). Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sembra proprio destino che Yarmouk debba essere un luogo segnato dalla storia.

Quasi 1 400 anni fa, si combatteva lì una battaglia decisiva tra bizantini e il vero Califfato, oggi ce n'è una molto più perversa in cui le parti sono sempre più confuse. Per sapere cosa si prova a Yarmouk spegnete la luce, l'acqua, il riscaldamento, mangiate una volta al giorno e vivete al buio, così un profugo giustamente racconta la vita quotidiana in quel campo.

L'UE garantisce solo 2,5 dei 30 milioni necessari, stando alle stime dell'UNRWA, per finanziare la gestione della crisi umanitaria in corso. A Yarmouk si soffre e si muore e il fatto che i nostri Stati e quelli arabi non ottemperino ai loro impegni è una vergogna che pesa come un macigno sulle nostre coscienze, ma ricordo anche che se avessimo fatto applicare le risoluzioni dell'ONU, se avessimo veramente spinto come Unione per risolvere la questione palestinese e la vergogna di Gaza con una soluzione a due Stati, Yarmouk oggi non ci sarebbe proprio e quindi forse abbiamo anche tanto da contestare alla nostra coscienza.

 
  
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  Bogdan Brunon Wenta (PPE). Panie Przewodniczący! Kryzys w Jarmuk jest obrazą dla naszego człowieczeństwa i powodem do ogromnego wstydu. Obóz, w którym schronienie znalazło ok. 18 tys. uchodźców, głównie Palestyńczyków, jest areną walk między siłami rządowymi a islamistami z ISIS wspieranymi przez wojowników radykalnej grupy frontu al-Nusra. Sytuacja wewnątrz obozu jest poważna, uchodźcom brakuje pożywienia, lekarstw i świeżej wody. Panuje tam głód, a rejon jest regularnie bombardowany przez syryjskie lotnictwo. Dalsza destabilizacja warunków w rejonie konfliktu może doprowadzić do wybuchu epidemii.

Wyrażam zaniepokojenie pogarszającym się stanem bezpieczeństwa, stąd chcę zaapelować o zaprzestanie ataków na ludność cywilną, a przede wszystkim o przestrzeganie międzynarodowego prawa humanitarnego. Dlatego ważne jest wprowadzenie w życie rezolucji Rady Bezpieczeństwa ONZ na całym terytorium Syrii. Apeluję też do wszystkich stron zaangażowanych w konflikt o zezwolenie międzynarodowym organizacjom niosącym pomoc na swobodny dostęp do obozu w Jarmuk w celu umożliwienia natychmiastowego i bezwarunkowego niesienia pomocy humanitarnej. Unia powinna podjąć dalsze inicjatywy dyplomatyczne zmierzające do zażegnania kryzysu w Syrii.

Z zadowoleniem przyjmuję zobowiązania na przyszłość podjęte przez państwa członkowskie Unii oraz fundusze pomocowe. Jednakże zwracam uwagę, że pomoc humanitarna wciąż jest nieregularna, jest tylko kroplą w morzu potrzeb. Podstawowe potrzeby humanitarne nadal pozostają niezaspokojone. Dlatego zwiększenie wsparcia dla działalności międzynarodowej w obszarze konfliktu jest bardzo istotne.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Für das nun folgende Catch-the-eye-Verfahren habe ich erneut sehr viel mehr Wortmeldungen. Wir werden uns auf drei beschränken.

Catch-the-eye-Verfahren

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). Mr President, I think that in this day and age most people would expect that people would be at least safe in a refugee camp, that they would have access to fresh water and have the basic requirements of food and clothing. Unfortunately, it is not so in this camp which has seen its numbers diminish from 150 000 to 18 000 and which has been described as beyond humane, inhumane. It was also described by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as a ‘circle of hell’. This is terrible.

It has emerged in recent times, as a result of ISIS in particular, that there is no limit to what people are prepared to do in pursuit of violence and their objectives. So we have to try to get all the authorities to respect the neutrality of the camp and try to get good conditions there for the unfortunate occupants.

 
  
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  Miroslav Poche (S&D). Pane předsedající, pokud je složitá situace po konfliktu v Sýrii jednou z největších humanitárních katastrof současnosti, tak situace v táboře Jarmúk to jenom dokresluje. Každý, kdo se o tuto situaci zajímal nebo dokonce ten tábor navštívil, toho byl svědkem. My už čtyři roky bezmocně sledujeme situaci v Sýrii v občanské válce a já si myslím, že jediným naším úkolem nebo cílem je, aby UN Relief and Works Agency dostala naši co největší možnou finanční, diplomatickou i politickou podporu. EU musí být jedním z hlavních pilířů humanitární pomoci v celé oblasti. Není to jenom vzhledem k situaci v táboře Jarmúk, ale také proto, že by to měl být jeden z prostředků, jak zamezit migraci v celé oblasti.

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D). Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, 150 000 palestinesi dal 1957 hanno trovato rifugio nel campo profughi di Yarmouk nella periferia di Damasco in Siria.

Il 1° aprile il campo è stato occupato dai guerriglieri dell'Isis e i rifugiati da giorni vivono sotto i missili del governo e nel terrore che i miliziani dello Stato islamico stanno seminando tra la popolazione stremata dalla fame e dalla paura. La situazione del campo profughi è al di là del disumano. Da quando sono partiti gli scontri non arrivano cibo, acqua e medicinali, migliaia di palestinesi tra cui centinaia di bambini rischiano di morire per fame e sete, senza contare le esecuzioni sommarie degli ultimi giorni.

L'Unicef dichiara di essere preoccupato per la sorte di 3 500 bambini ancora all'interno del campo. L'ONU e la comunità internazionale devono preoccuparsi di fornire protezione e soddisfare i bisogni umanitari dei rifugiati palestinesi a Yarmouk e in tutti gli altri campi. L'Europa e la comunità internazionale devono ottenere rapidamente che tutte le parti in conflitto arrivino ad un cessate il fuoco che consenta di portare aiuti all'interno di Yarmouk e di evacuare i bambini e le famiglie ferite.

 
  
 

(Ende des Catch-the-eye-Verfahrens)

 
  
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  Neven Mimica, Member of the Commission. Mr President, on behalf of the High Representative I would like to thank you for adding this important and very sad subject to this week’s plenary agenda. The European Union is seriously concerned at the continued deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Syria. The conditions in the Palestinian refugee camp in Yarmouk in particular have become critical and need to be addressed with utmost urgency. After three years of besiegement by the Syrian regime, the recent escalation of violence by different fighting sides is putting the camp’s population at serious risk.

The continued denial of humanitarian access by the Syrian regime and armed opposition groups to the refugees living in Yarmouk is unacceptable. The High Representative made this clear in her statement on behalf of the European Union of 18 April as well as in her Joint Statement with Commissioner Stylianides. The UN Security Council issued a Presidential Statement along the same lines on 20 April.

All sides should cease hostilities to ensure immediate and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need inside the camp and to provide safe passage for all civilians who wish to leave the camp, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 2139, 2165 and 2191. We urge all parties to use their influence over the fighting groups to ensure that these fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians inside the camps, are fully respected.

We commend the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) for the important work it is doing and we will continue to work together with UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, and all other partners to help alleviate the suffering of the people in greatest need.

The Commission released immediate emergency funding of EUR 2.5 million to UNRWA’s operation to deliver lifesaving assistance to Palestinian refugees in Syria through cash and emergency relief items, and it stands ready to scale it up if needed. This emergency decision came in addition to a EUR 10 million contribution to UNRWA in December last year.

More generally, as part of the European Union’s 2015 humanitarian funding for Syria, the European Union’s support will continue to reinforce the capacity of partner organisations on the ground in order to enable them to provide a rapid humanitarian response in the case of a sudden deterioration of the situation. This funding extends to all parts of Syria affected by the conflict, with specific focus on the recent violence in Yarmouk, Idlib, Dara’a and Aleppo. This emergency funding also goes together with the EUR 33 million contribution to UNRWA provided since 2011 from the European Neighbourhood Instrument to sustain assistance to Palestinian refugees in Syria in cash assistance, education and health.

We also called on the UN Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, to work with all parties towards the comprehensive implementation of the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 leading to a genuine political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and enables them independently and democratically to determine their own future. We will continue to fully support the victims of the Syria crisis.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet im Anschluss an die nächste Aussprache statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 162 GO)

 
  
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  Monica Macovei (PPE), in writing. Syria’s bloody conflict has killed 200 000 people so far. In addition, the life of thousands of civilians from the Yarmouk camp is threatened because of the fighting between the Syrian government and IS militants.

The EU recently imposed a travel ban and an EU asset freeze on 7 persons who provide money to the Syrian regime, but this is not enough. I call upon the EU to totally isolate and defeat the IS militants as a terrorist organisation by completely cutting their funds by imposing additional EU asset freezes. I encourage the EU to create an autonomous sanctions regime to supplement the UN al-Qaeda sanction regime.

The only way to help Syria’s citizens is to seek international consensus at the level of the UNSC and to provide support for a Syrian-led political process leading to peace in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012. I therefore urge Syria to immediately implement the UNSC Resolution 2139/2014. I welcome EU’s financial efforts to provide humanitarian aid to the region, especially because the EU has been the leading international donor in response to the Syrian crisis with more than EUR 3.3 billion.

 
  
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  Indrek Tarand (Verts/ALE), in writing. As recent events have shown, Russia’s backing of the Assad regime had disastrous consequences in Syria. Analogically, France should not prop up Russia’s current expansionist authoritarian regime by providing it with Mistral class warships. It is important to note that although the Mistral deal has been placed on hold due to the situation in Ukraine, the contract has not yet been terminated. This means that potentially the option of delivering those warships to Russia is still on the table, which is totally unacceptable, and can be seen as an insult towards the people who have died in, or been adversely affected by the conflict in Ukraine. Europe has to take a firm stance regarding this conflict, and the most elementary step would be to refrain from providing the aggressor with additional weapons.

 
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