Palestinian official denies funding settlements in Syria’s Afrin

ERBIL, KRI, Iraq (North Press) – Nazmi Hazouri, the Consulate General of Palestine to Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), said on Thursday that constructing settlements in Afrin region, northwest Syria, under the name of Palestinian associations does not represent the political regime of the state.

“The word of settlements terrify us and we reject constructing any settlements under the name of the state,” Hoazouri told North Press.

The number of settlements built by Turkey with the support of Gulf countries, most notably Kuwait and Qatar, and Palestinian associations, exceeded more than 100 in Turkish-occupied areas in northern Syria, according to North Press’ own investigations.

In June 2022, Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ), a human rights organization, published an extensive investigative report, in which it detailed Turkey’s demographic engineering in Afrin and its countryside.

Afrin has been under the control of Turkey and Turkish-backed armed opposition factions, also known as Syrian National Army (SNA), since 2018 following a military operation dubbed “Olive Branch” against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) under the pretext of preserving Turkey’s national security.

“Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounces all settlements activities,” Hoazouri added.

“Palestinian people in Syria are guests till the time of the right of return comes, and they cannot divide Syrian territory,” he added.

“The Palestinian-Kurdish relationship is historic and the Kurds were generous at providing sacrifices for the sake of Palestine, so that we owe them for that,” the Palestinian consulate stressed.

Reporting by Suha Kamel