People started fleeing on Monday because rumours spread that the regular army was going to enter the camp and kick us out. I left the camp on Tuesday morning with my parents and my five siblings. We tried to leave earlier, but it was too dangerous due to the fighting [between the FSA and the FPLP – CG militia]. Even though the FSA is supposed to be in control of the camp, the situation is far from stable. We were no longer safe.
We took with us the bare minimum: warm clothing, our laptops, my father’s insulin [because he is diabetic], and my mother and sister’s jewellery. A camp resident took us in his truck, but many people left on foot, taking only one small piece of luggage.
Video showing the departure of Palestinian refugees from the Yarmouk camp.
For the time being, we have relocated in the Ibn Nafiss neighbourhood [in northern Damascus], with a family friend. But not everyone was so lucky.
Refugees who have the means to do so rent houses in Damascus, generally in the Zahira or Al Maydan neighbourhoods, which are those closest to the camp. This is just the first step in their journey; they will probably then go on to Lebanon, which remains easier to get into for Palestinians than Jordan [according to another Observer, Palestinians can get into Lebanon for a visa costing on average 20 US dollars].
Those without money take refuge in mosques, schools, and UNRWA centres [UNRWA is the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East], like the Damascus Training Centre dormitory. The more unfortunate ones end up sleeping in the street.