Abbas Sends Delegation to Help Palestinians in Syria

RAMALLAH (AP) -

A senior Palestinian official says President Mahmoud Abbas is dispatching representatives to Syria to try to secure the safety of Palestinians caught in fighting.

Ahmed Majdalani said Tuesday that representatives will meet Syrian officials to try to protect Palestinian areas from fighting that has engulfed parts of the capital, Damascus. Generations of Palestinian refugees have lived in the crowded Damascus area of Yarmouk since 1948.

Majdalani said they also will try to convince Palestinian factions to stay out of the fighting. The some 500,000 Palestinians in Syria are divided between supporters of rebels and government forces.

Like other Syrians, thousands of Palestinians have been forced to leave their homes because of fighting.