Ma'an News Agency
August 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Hundreds of Palestinians streamed into the streets of Ramallah on Sunday evening to demand Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad stand down.

The mass demonstration in support of the Syrian people came hours after news broke of Syrian military shelling the port city of Latakia, killing 26. Human rights groups said Palestinians living in a refugee camp in the district of Ramel were among the dead.

Palestinians gathered in Al-Manara square at the heart of the West Bank city of Ramallah, holding Syrian flags and posters calling for Al-Assad to leave, while chanting slogans against the President's regime.

The demonstrators want to send a message that the fate of the Palestinian and Syrian people is united, a spokesman from the Palestinian national solidarity committee with the Arab revolutions, who issued Sunday's call to show support for Syria, told Ma'an.

"We organized this demonstration to tell the world that the Palestinian people stand beside the Syrian people against the repressive regime in Syria, and to call to end the crimes against the demonstrators”, committee spokesman Naji Abu Humeid said.

In a statement, the Palestinian committee in solidarity with the Syrian people said Palestinians are fully behind the Syrian revolution, and their demand for the rights of freedom and democracy.

On Sunday the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria provided a list of 26 victims of the fighting in Latakia -- including two Palestinian men from the Ramel refugee camp in southern Latakia.

Spokesman for the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, Chris Gunness, said reports from the Ramel camp spoke of "fire from tanks which have encircled the area as well as fire from ships at sea."

He called on the Syrian authorities "to order their troops to exercise maximum restraint," and demanded "access for humanitarian workers to tend to the injured and dying."

World leaders have stepped up their pressure on the Al-Assad regime as violence continues to mount during the holy month of Ramadan.

The fighting has killed around 2,200 people, including some 400 members of the security forces, according to rights activists.

The UN Security Council is due to hold a special meeting on Thursday to discuss human rights and the humanitarian emergency in Syria.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017