Ramallah sought to transfer the interred remains of notable Palestinians after Daesh started to smash gravestones in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk on the outskirts of the Syrian capital of Damascus last Sunday.

Head of political affairs at the Syrian branch of the PLO, Anwar Abdel Hadi, said, “Daesh smashed gravestones in the ‘Martyrs’ Cemetery’ in Yarmouk,” after declaring the dead heretics.

We presented a request to the Israelis to allow us to move in the [Yarmouk] camp close to Damascus to Palestine,” Palestinian minister Hussein, Al-Sheikh, told AFP on Monday. Haaretz confirmed that the request was denied.

Among the bodies the Palestinians wanted to repatriate was that of Khalil Al-Wazir, better known as Abu Jihad, who was assassinated by Israelis in Tunisia in 1988, as well as another senior Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) figure, Sa’ad Sayil.

Daesh has a history of destroying graves and tombs, even those of Islamic prophets. In 2014, Daesh detonated explosives in the Prophet Yunus Mosque in Mosul, Iraq where the eponymous prophet is said to have been buried.