27.5.07

Inside North Lebanon's Turmoil

A first hand account published on Angry Arab blog from a telephone conversation between him and Abu Jabir, one of the leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who is inside the Nahr El-Bared camp.
Abu Jabir has stayed inside. He told me that he will not do it again: that he will not leave the camp except to return to Palestine. He feels that there is a conspiracy against the Palestinian camps in Lebanon in accordance of UNSC 1559. The humanitarian situation is quite dire, he said: there is no water, no electricity, and no medicine. The Lebanese Army bombardment of the camp is unquestionably indiscriminate he said. He said that the market was bombed, as were 6 mosques inside the camp. A bomb landed on his desk, for example. It is not true that the Lebanese Army is only bombing the north of the camp where Fath-Al-Islam is concentrated. Hospitals (they are more like clinics) were bombed as well, including Mu'assassat Ash-Shifa' which is run by the PFLP. Two general physicians are now forced to perform all sorts of medical practice, including surgery. As for the claim by the lying Lebanese government that "a mere Palestinian civilian was killed and 19 injured" in the camp, it is utterly false, Abu Jabir told me. He has the names of: 18 Palestinian civilians killed, and 105 Palestinian civilian injured. He told me that there are still civilians all around, and women were around when I was talking to him. There are reports, he said, of Hariri goons shooting at the camp and at the refugees but he was careful to add that since he is inside he can't verify that. There are 200 houses that are fully or partially destroyed in the camp. And those who leave the camp are not allowed back in by the lousy Lebanese Army. He then told me about Fath-Al-Islam. He said that the number of Palestinians among them can be counted on the fingers of "one hand." He said that they are non-Palestinians, and he said that the people of the camp would like them to leave the camp, that they don't belong there. He said: let those who fund them and who brought them in, take them out. They don't belong here, he told me. He said that initially, by late 2006, there were no more than 40 members of Fath-Al-Islam inside the camp. He said that suddenly by early 2007, something very suspicious started to happen: that hundreds of fighters (from fanatical groups inside At-Ta'mir (which is run by Hariri Inc, and where a Hariri militia operate) and `Ayn Al-Hilwah and other places) were brought into the camp to join the ranks of Fath-Al-Islam. He said that the camp is watched and controlled by the Lebanese Army and security forces from all sides. He asked how those fighters were permitted to enter the camp under the watch of the Lebanese Army. He wondered why is it that the same governments that met with Condoleezza Rice during her visit were the ones that sent arms and ammunition to the Lebanese Army this week. It is clear that people in the camp feel unfairly caught in a battle between Fath-Al-Islam and the Lebanese Army. They have no say in this battle that is hurting the refugees.

A first person account by blogger EDB from Anecdotes From A Banana Republic


Frank Lamb is reporting for Counterpunch from inside palestinian refugee camps in north Lebanon. Here are two of his recent articles:
Who's Behind the Fighting in North Lebanon?
Nahr el-Bared is 7 miles north of Tripoli near the stunning Mediterranean coast and is home to more than 32,000 refuges many of whom were expelled from the Lake Huleh area of Palestine, including Safed. Like all the official Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, plus several 'unofficial' ones, Nahr el-Bared suffers from serious problems including no proper infrastructure, overcrowding, poverty and unemployment.
Tabulated at more than 25%, Nahr el-Bared has the highest percentage of Palestinian refugees anywhere who are living in abject poverty and who are officially registered with the UN as "special hardship" cases.
Its residents, like all Palestinians in Lebanon are blatantly discriminated against and not even officially counted. They are denied citizenship and banned from working in the top 70 trades and professions (that includes McDonald's and KFC in downtown Beirut) and cannot own real estate. Palestinians in Lebanon have essentially no social or civil rights and only limited access to government educational facilities. They have no access to public social services. Consequently most rely entirely on the UNRWA as the sole provider for their families needs.
It is not surprising that al-Qaeda sympathies, if not formal affiliations, are found in the 12 official camps as well as 7 unofficial ones...

"Another Waco in the Making"
The Welch Club wants the army to "wipe out the terrorists", and "protect our Palestinian brothers". Not one Palestinian in either camp or observer I know believes that. Rather the Palestinian community here believes that the whole Fatah al-Islam "very strange case" was designed to assault their 420,000 population here...
Seven PLO factions operate in both camps. They jointly chased Fatah al-Islam out of Bedawi on September 21, 2006 not long after they split from Abu Musa's Fateh Intifida which has been based in Badawi since 1983. Fatah Intifada still man's the entrance to Bedawi but they seem to have only about 100 members left. When one interviews them they are almost apologetic about their step-brothers, Fatah al-Islam. "We expelled them because we did not like their friends (Hariri intelligence staff) they were too religious and acted strange but we did not think things would come to this") but the al-Barad PLO factions do not have arms or power to confront FAI...

4 comments:

Author said...

A REPLY WITH ANSWERS! a reply to Who's Behind the Fighting in North Lebanon? by lamb from counterpunch.com

Fateh el-Islam and the Hariri link, the Welch club, Jund el-Sitt, conspiracy theories that may turn true but all of that runs 24/24 on al-Manar, 4/24 on al-Jazeera as they have to work on several fronts, don't know about Syrian TV as I have some work to do! (the whole scenario, not to forget is a Seymoou Hersh-New Yorker- copyright, a potential spiritual leader of anti Bush affiliates)
To make a long reply short, I am not affiliated with any 'political' group in Lebanon, doubt that such groups exist. To add more to my problem, I do not respect any of those factions, confessional groups and their leadership and this feeling is a cross cutting one that runs across the country and goes further into other non-Lebanese groups and they are many. Do not get me wrong, I am not talking about the people, if there are any left as independent creatures. And this does not apply to 'poor' women and children and poor may be rich here.

continue reply on...
http://talesfrombeirut.blogspot.com/2007/05/reply-with-answers.html

Sophia said...

Author,

I agree that this war in North Lebanon is being provoked by the US and Al Qaida but you seem to forget one important fact. The US and Al Qaida are abstarct entities. So there are people who are doing the actual fighting. These people, those who finance them and those who support them should be held responsible and Lamb was saying exactly this...

Ann said...

Sophia,

I've been forwarded a third article by Franklin Lamb that you may find of interest, though it has not yet appeared on alternative press sites such as Counterpunch.

Ann

Sophia said...

Ann, Thanks for the link.
I am more skeptical about this one. During the civil war when I was in lebanon, there was laready talk fo this basis for the LF. Why would the USrael need and air base in northern Lebanon when the whoe Israel territory can serve as such a base ? I am really skeptical about this one...

 
Since March 29th 2006