Palestinian organizations and groups throughout the European continent declared a number of humanitarian aid coveys in March to Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, which suffer a difficult crisis due to the deteriorating security situation. Amin Abu Rashed, relief and humanitarian affairs coordinator of the campaign told Quds Press that it was decided to launch an emergency relief campaign to the besieged Palestinian refugee camps in Syrian for more than two months. He pointed out the European campaign aims to alleviate the difficult humanitarian situation of the Palestinians and the Syrians since two year in a row. He explained that his organization will work to secure basic food items to families in the camps, and to provide them with shelters and heating, pointing out that among the campaign’s aims is to provide medical assistance to the wounded and sick people. Abu Rashid, who visited the Yarmouk refugee camp during this month, drew attention to the tragic situation of the Palestinian camps in Syria, noting that ‘the Yarmouk refugee camp, for example, is besieged for more than two months without any humanitarian supplies. He stressed the need to keep the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria neutral in the Syrian conflict, especially in light of the continuing attempts to drag them into the internal Syrian conflict. The European campaign has carried out several relief conveys for Palestinian refugees fleeing from camps in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, during the past few months, where a European delegation has visited the camps and provided them with urgent aid in an attempt to alleviate their suffering.
Various sources identify Mr. Rashed (aka Amin Abou, Amin Rashid) as a founding member of the European Campaign To End the Siege on Gaza, discussed in an earlier post as one of the major members of the June 2010 Gaza Flotilla coalition that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. Mr. Rashed was known to have been held in Israeli custody in connection with his role in the first Gaza Flotilla. A report by the NEFA Foundation further identifies Mr. Rashed as a part of the now defunct Al-Aqsa Foundation in the Netherlands as well as a leader in a Palestinian advocacy group known as the Foundation Palestinian Platform for Human Rights and Solidarity (PPMS). According to another NEFA Foundation report, the Al-Aqsa Foundation Netherlands was formerly the Dutch member organization of the Union of Good, the coalition of Hamas fundraising charities headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi.