Heavy shelling leaves a dark plume of smoke over the Palestinian refugee camp. (Daily Telegraph)
May 23, 2007 – For the past several days the army shelled the Palestinian refugee camp. On the first day six civilians were killed, including two children, with more deaths to follow. Sixty more were wounded.
Thousands of civilians fled the camp as the shelling continued. Artillery fire disrupted delivery of food and water to the camp, preventing United Nations convoys from getting through. Hidden by darkness, civilians continued their flight, with as many as 10 people packed into one car, flying white flags from their windows. “There are dead and wounded on the road, inside the camp!” one woman screamed.”
The 40,000 refugees remaining in the camp had neither food nor water. Homes, mosques, and water tanks were hit. Damage to the infrastructure was extensive.
Oddly, there was no cry of outrage from the United Nations and the international community. No protests or demonstrations from Palestinian advocates around the world. No denunciations by Arab leaders defending their Palestinian brothers and sisters.
Lebanese soldiers launch an assault on Palestinian “militants.” (Daily Telegraph)
Because this refugee camp is in Lebanon, and the attacking army is Lebanese. In the Middle East Arabs are allowed to kill Arabs without protest, especially when they are fighting “terrorism,” and even when there is civilian “collateral damage.”
This happened in the Nah al-Bared refugee camp near Tripoli in northern Lebanon. The Lebanese army was going after the Fatah al-Islam group of “militants” who were hiding in that camp.
Were such harsh measures really necessary? Wouldn’t it be more enlightened to examine the “root causes” of terrorism, if we really want to stamp it out?
There are about 400,000 Palestinian refugees living in camps scattered throughout Lebanon. They live in poverty and crowded conditions, in a state of apartheid, with fences separating them from the rest of Lebanese society. Lebanese law regards them as foreigners, with none of the privileges of citizenship. The rate of unemployment is as high as 70%, and those who do work perform menial jobs that others shun. “I don’t even bother looking for work any more,” says one inhabitant of the Rashidieh refugee camp who has a wife and nine children to feed. “They treat us like slaves. I get seven or eight dollars a day at most and it’s not enough for food.”
Lebanese children react to fleeing the Nahr el-Bared camp. (Daily Telegraph)
The children in these camps constitute the third generation of Palestinian refugees. Shaheen Chugtai, a spokesman for Save the Children, says: “When you put people in that kind of situation for a long period of time you find inevitably there is more stress, more violence, more abuse.” They are Arabs living as pariahs in an Arab land.
Many people don’t know that the number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is roughly equal to the number of Palestinian refugees. But there are no Jewish refugee camps. In Israel that would be considered shameful. Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees, made them full citizens and gave them their dignity. Only Arab countries have the entitlement to discriminate against their own refugees in perpetuity, and receive sympathy for it.
It’s time to examine the root causes of the refugee problem. It’s time to consider the real apartheid.
A Look Behind the Scene
More proof that the so-called ‘Palestinians’ are in fact Arab jihad freaks from all over the Middle East:
Lebanese authorities said they had arrested Saudi, Algerian, Tunisian and Lebanese members of the group and had recovered false foreign identity papers among the bodies of 17 militants.Â
Palestinians urge help for refugees
The eternal beggar nation. Why won’t their rich Sowdi-Muslim brothers support them?
Martin Chulov, Middle East correspondent in Tripoli
DESPERATE Palestinians have implored the Lebanese army to protect thousands of refugees who are refusing to leave their besieged camp ahead of an expected last stand by al-Qa’ida-linked insurgents.
“Their fate is arrest and, if they resist the army, death,” Lebanese Defence Minister Elias Murr said yesterday.
Fighting between the Islamists and surrounding soldiers resumed yesterday after a day-long truce allowed more than half the Nahr al-Barad camp’s 31,000 registered refugees to flee to Palestinian areas in North Lebanon.
A bomb ripped through a resort area east of Beirut late on Wednesday (local time), injuring 16 people. It was the third explosion to rock Lebanon since the insurgents, linked to the Fatah al-Islam group, sparked the siege of the camp by attacking army positions on its borders early on Sunday.
The two other explosions were in affluent Sunni and Christian areas of Beirut and followed threats by Fatah al-Islam to broaden its campaign by attacking targets elsewhere in Lebanon.
Lebanese authorities said they had arrested Saudi, Algerian, Tunisian and Lebanese members of the group and had recovered false foreign identity papers among the bodies of 17 militants.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, vowed last night to eradicate terrorism in the north.
“We will not surrender to armed terrorism. We will not surrender to the terrorists,” Mr Siniora said. “The explosive attacks will not scare us.”
Mr Siniora vowed to protect “our Palestinian brothers”.
“We will not target them,” he said. “We will work to enforce national security and salvation.”