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Mahmoud Abbas offers to take Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria war

Published Dec 19, 2012 10:46am

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Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. — Photo by AFP

RAMALLAH: The Palestinian president said he was ready to take in Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria's civil war.    

Mahmoud Abbas said he had asked UN chief Ban Ki-moon to help in bringing the refugees to the Palestinian territories.

This could include the West Bank, where Abbas governs, or the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The request was reported Wednesday by the official Wafa news agency. It follows an attack by Syrian warplanes against a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus.

The statement said there are 450,000 Palestinian refugees living in 10 camps in Syria.

Abbas said the biggest camp, Yarmouk, ''has been through a difficult situation due to the escalating conflict in Syria''.

Any movement of refugees into the West Bank would need the consent of Israel. Israel's Foreign Ministry had no comment.