Syrian refugee camp near the village of al-Rafeed, next to the Israeli-Syrian border in the southern province of Daraa, as seen from the Israeli side of the border in the Golan Height, Israel Credit: EPA/Atef Safadi
Syrian refugee camp near the village of al-Rafeed, next to the Israeli-Syrian border in the southern province of Daraa, as seen from the Israeli side of the border in the Golan Height, Israel Credit: EPA/Atef Safadi

Human Rights Watch has launched an appeal asking Jordanian and Israeli authorities to allow Syrian fleeing violence in the Daraa governorate to apply for asylum. The organization noted that on June 16, 2018, the Russian-Syrian military alliance opened an offensive in the Syrian governorates of Daraa and Quneitra, one of the last areas controlled by anti-government forces in Syria.

The United Nations estimate that 271,800 people have fled fighting so far, moving along the Jordanian border and the Golan Heights occupied by Israel. 


Jordan 'will not receive new Syrian refugees'

 HRW reported in a statement that on June 26 Jordan's new Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said in a press conference that Jordan ''will not receive any new refugees from Syria.''  On June 28, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and told him that Jordan will provide all the necessary help to Syrians ''on their own soil''.''The abject refusal by Jordanian authorities to allow asylum seekers to seek protection not only goes against their international legal obligations, but against basic human decency,'' said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. ''Jordanians themselves are appealing to their government's basic decency and calling for those in need to be let in.''

Offering protection to asylum seekers Human Rights Watch spoke to five people, including three displaced Daraa residents who travelled to the Jordanian border in an attempt to flee violence in the area but who were unable to cross due to the shutdown of the Jordanian border.''There are displaced persons about two kilometers away from the border, but of course they can't cross,'' an activist who lived in Ghasam, a village near the Jordanian border, told Human Rights Watch on June 29. ''Those who try face warning gunshots''.

HRW said that ''Jordan and Israeli authorities operating in the occupied Golan Heights should allow asylum seekers to seek asylum in areas under their control, and facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid to serve the displaced population fleeing violence. The international community should also provide support to countries that are hosting refugees and providing humanitarian assistance.''
 

More articles