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Three Palestinian refugees die in Iraq

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  • U.N. agency appeals for medical resettlement of Palestinians in Iraq camps
  • About 2,000 Palestinians in camps along Iraq-Syria border
  • 30 to 40 refugees arrive at border camp each week, UNHCR says
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(CNN) -- Three Palestinians, including two sick children, have died recently while waiting for resettlement from Iraq, the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday.

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UNHCR goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie visits the Al Waleed refugee camp in August.

About 2,000 Palestinian refugees are stranded in camps along the Syrian border and face difficult living conditions, including limited medical care, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said.

The agency has appealed for the resettlement of "vulnerable and sick" children in Al Waleed refugee camp at the Iraqi-Syrian border.

One of those who died in the camp was a 3-year-old Palestinian boy who was suffering from rickets and pneumonia. He died a few days ago in a Ramadi hospital and then was buried in Al Waleed. The other was a 14-year-old suffering from Hodgkin's disease who died in Baghdad last week.

A 50-year-old man who was waiting to be resettled died earlier this month in Al Waleed.

The agency says seven people, including three children, have died at the camp since refugees fleeing attackers began arriving at the border in March 2006.

About 30 to 40 people arrive at the Al Waleed camp each week, the UNHCR reports.

The agency has been pursuing medical resettlement.

"UNHCR has helped resettle one family of eight with several sick children from this camp to Norway last August. Another 11 medical cases submitted for resettlement are awaiting approval," the agency said, which is working to identify other medical cases.

And it is urging the resettlement of the entire group.

"UNHCR has sought solutions for the whole group since last year and has only received positive indications from Sudan and Chile," the agency said.

Thousands of Palestinians have lived in Iraq, with some going there when Israel was formed and others born there.

The UNHCR notes that some got "preferential treatment" under the regime of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. But they have been the targets of violence since he was toppled. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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