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Palestinian Genocide

you read the news: bank robbers attacked with tanks
You are not alone against empire
You are not alone against empire
Lebanon army pounding refugee camps. Just shooting fish in a barrel. Why now? Why is this US backed? What are the ramifications?


Clearly the palestinians are not going to take over the mid east, but they may just be in the way of those who have been trying. Its certainly a case of money, blood and guts. Further what is not well reported is what the connection is with other palestinian polarizations of late in the gaza stip and Israels support of its old enemy fatah against hamas. Or is it visa versa.

My guess is all this is to weeken line of communications. The lines being sought to be destroyed are those of palesinians and thier surroundings. I suppose lines with Syria and Iran to non US pupets are under attack.

Interestingly back lash will likely turn againts the lbanese army when the infection of violencs
spreads. But maybe Israel will give the refugees there right to return and the star of David will be replaced by a flying pig. Indeed this veiw is too narrow and so is the likelyhood of peace and demilitarization in this realm.

in despair 22.May.2007 08:07

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this is horrifying, this genocide is happening just like it played out in '82 when the Israeli Army stood guard while hundreds within Palestinian refugee camps were massacred by Phalangist militiamen, at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut.

 link to electronicintifada.net

And on imemc.org there are updates about the situation around those in Hamas who are being targetted for assassination by Israeli forces - breaking news at:  http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/

Also, The International Solidarity Movement -  http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/ is promoting a June 10th Day of Solidarity: "Freedom Summer 2007 - Confronting Apartheid"

details at:
 http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2007/05/04/freedom-summer-07/

Latest coverage: 22.May.2007 08:08

.

 http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6928.shtml

Fierce clashes continue at Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon
Report, Electronic Lebanon, 21 May 2007

Nahr al-Bared's once bustling marketplace is now virtually deserted since the Lebanese army surrounded the camp. (Hugh Macleod/IRIN)

Lebanon - Ma'an - Fierce clashes between the Lebanese army and the Fatah Al-Islam organization have continued in northern Lebanon on Monday, Lebanese security sources have said. The confrontations are focused in the area around the Nahr Al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, located outside the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. At least 48 people have died in the two days of fighting, Lebanese sources said, most of them from the Lebanese army.

According to media reports, more than 20 soldiers and 20 fighters from Fatah Al-Islam were killed in Sunday's clashes, and an unconfirmed number of civilians. The BBC has described the clashes as "Lebanon's bloodiest internal fighting since the country's civil war ended 17 years ago."

The BBC added that sporadic exchanges of fire continued during Sunday night on the perimeters of Nahr Al-Bared camp. On Monday morning the Lebanese army resumed pounding militant positions on the edge of Nahr al-Bared with tank shells and artillery fire.

Deteriorating conditions in the camp

Nahr Al-Bared camp is home to approximately 31,000 Palestinians, out of a total of almost 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, according to statistics of the UN agency responsible for Palestine refugees in the Near East, UNRWA. The camp was set up in 1949 to house Palestinian refugees fleeing their homeland following the creation of Israel in 1948. Conditions in the camp are reported to be deteriorating.

According to Al-Jazeera International, the Lebanese army is holding back from entering Nahr Al-Bared camp in accordance with a 1969 Arab agreement banning the Lebanese army from entering any of the country's 12 refugee centres.

Abu Hisham Laila, an official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), told Al-Jazeera from inside the camp that the Lebanese bombing of the camp had been "indiscriminate" and said a number of civilians had been killed in the bombing.

"All residents have stayed at home, taking shelter in lower floors," he was quoted as saying. "We want ambulances to be allowed into the refugee camp to transfer the civilian casualties. We also want fire brigades to enter the camp and put off the fire in many buildings."

The camp's electricity, phone lines and water were also cut off, according to Lebanon's The Daily Star newspaper. "There are bodies on the streets," Ashraf Abu Khurj, a Palestinian resident of the camp told The Daily Star by phone. Four wounded Palestinians were evacuated from the camp, a Red Crescent spokesman told Agence France Presse, adding that there were more casualties still inside the camp.

Bank robbery

According to the BBC, Sunday's violence erupted after Lebanese security forces raided a building in Tripoli to arrest suspects in a bank robbery.

Fatah Al-Islam fighters then attacked Lebanese army posts at the entrance to Nahr Al-Bared camp. Witnesses said Fatah Al-Islam militants seized two armoured carriers belonging to the Lebanese army, IRIN, the news agency of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported. Lebanese troops responded by bombarding the camp and storming a building on the outskirts of Tripoli.

"God is testing us and we will serve his cause," Abu Saleem Taher, a spokesman for Fatah Al-Islam, told IRIN from inside the camp. "We are ready to continue our fight against the Lebanese army and we know that our brothers in the other camps will not stand still if the situation continues."

Later on Sunday, a bomb exploded in Beirut's largely Christian eastern district of Achrafieh. One woman was killed in the blast and at least 10 people are reported to have been hurt. It is not clear if there is any connection to the fighting in Tripoli.

Fatah Al-Islam

Fatah Al-Islam split from Fatah Al-Intifada in 2006, which itself split from the Fatah movement in 1983. The Lebanon-based group, which is headed by Shaker Al-Abssi, has been accused of having links to both Al-Qaeda and the Syrian intelligence. Fatah Al-Islam has denied any links to Al-Qa'eda and the charges that it carried out bus bombings that left three people dead in a Christian area north of Beirut in February. Syria has also denied its links to the group.

The Palestinian Fatah movement has also denied links to Fatah Al-Islam. "Fatah al-Islam has no link with the Fatah movement. There is absolutely no connection and they have no right to use the name Fatah," Fatah spokesman Fahmi Za'arir told Al-Jazeera.

Future fears for Palestinians in Lebanon

"The blows dealt by Fatah Al-Islam against the Lebanese army are a premeditated crime and a dangerous attempt to destabilise (Lebanon)," charged Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, according to AFP.

"The Lebanese army will be shocked by this as they have not normally considered themselves a target for attack," Timor Goksel, a former United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) spokesman and long-time Lebanon security analyst, told IRIN.

"The army plays a very important internal security function and they will now need to restore their credibility. The army might consider putting camps across Lebanon under a similar kind of siege and all Palestinians could suffer. There might be more bloodshed," he added.

"We are really afraid about what is happening and we don't want these people in our camp," Abu Raheja, a Nahr al-Bared shopkeeper, told IRIN. "Fatah Islam is not letting the wounded and civilians leave the camp. They are using us as human bullet vests," he said.

Thousands said fleeing Lebanese camp 22.May.2007 12:58

reposting relevant info

By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI, Associated Press Writer

TRIPOLI, Lebanon - Thousands of people fled a crowded refugee camp Tuesday night during a lull in three straight days of clashes between Lebanese troops and Islamic militants holed up inside, Associated Press reporters at the scene said.
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AP Television News video from the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp showed women clutching children and piling up in pickup trucks, some waving white flags, as they tried to leave the partially destroyed camp.

Others fled on foot, and ambulances could be seen evacuating the wounded.

U.N. relief officials in another camp located a few miles to the south of Tripoli said they expected 10,000 Palestinian refugees from Nahr el-Bared to arrive through the night.

Refugees from Nahr el-Bared were seen raising white towels from windows and even waving white plastic bags. Boys carried babies, a young boy and a woman helped an elderly woman, hurriedly walking on the side of the road as cars sped past carrying more refugees.

Many of the packed cars driving out had their windows blasted from the fighting.

Earlier, a U.N. convoy carrying relief supplies during the fighting between the Lebanese troops and the
Fatah Islam fighters.

The Lebanese army initially stopped the convoy of six trucks from the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which aids Palestinians, from entering the camp. The convoy was later allowed in during a brief cease-fire.

But two pickup trucks and a water tanker got caught between the lines of the two sides and were hit as they entered the camp, said an UNRWA official, speaking to The Associated Press by telephone from the entrance of the camp.

The official said the convoy was then shot at as it tried to deliver aid. A car from inside the camp was also hit by fire in the area at the same time, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Al-Arabiya satellite television reported four civilians were killed in the incident. The UNRWA official said there were 15 civilian casualties but did not give a breakdown of dead and wounded. There was no official confirmation of either report.

The UNRWA official said earlier that he had reports dozens of buildings in the camp had been destroyed with residents trapped in the rubble.

At least 29 soldiers and 20 militants have been killed in the fighting since Sunday. The number of civilian casualties is not known, however, because relief workers, Lebanese authorities and journalists have had limited or no access to the camp.

Overnight, the Lebanese government ordered the army to finish off the militants who have set up in Nahr el-Bared, where 31,000 Palestinian refugees live on the outskirts of the northern port of Tripoli.

Black smoke billowed from the area Tuesday amid artillery and machine gun exchanges between troops and militants. Lebanese troops skirmished with Fatah Islam fighters, trying to seize militant positions on the outskirts of the camp.

"There are dead and wounded on the road, inside the camp," screamed a Lebanese woman, Amina Alameddine, who ran weeping from her home on the edge of the camp. She fled with her daughter and four other relatives after Fatah Islam fighters started shooting at the army from the roof of her house.

At the same time, Lebanese troops sought to flush out fighters hiding in Tripoli. Soldiers raided a building where Fatah Islam militants were believed to be hiding out, blasting an apartment with grenades, gunfire and tear gas.

They found no one in the apartment. As they pursued a militant hours later, he blew himself up by detonating an explosives belt rather than surrendering. None of the troops was injured.

Dozens of refugees angered by the assault on Nahr el-Bared burned tires in protest in the southern camp of Ein el-Hilweh, Lebanon's largest Palestinian camp. Protesters also burned tires in Rashidiyeh camp, farther south.

The protests raised the specter that Palestinians in Lebanon's 11 other refugee camps could rise up in anger over the assault on Nahr el-Bared. The overcrowded camps housing more than 215,000 refugees, out of a total of 400,000 Palestinians in Lebanon are also home to many armed Palestinian factions who often battle each other and have seen a rising number of Islamic extremists.

The Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. and camp residents reported that 200 Palestinians in Nahr el-Bared demonstrated against Fatah Islam, asking them to leave the camp.

Reports emerged from the camp of heavy destruction from the three days of bombardment by Lebanese artillery and tanks and militants who returned fire with mortars and automatic weapons.

"The shelling is heavy, not only on our positions, but also on children and women. Destruction is all over," Fatah Islam spokesman Abu Salim Taha told The Associated Press by telephone from inside the camp.

Lebanese authorities do not enter the camps under a nearly 40-year-old agreement with the Palestinians.

The tens of thousands of Palestinians live in two- or three-story white buildings on the camp's densely packed narrow streets. Refugees have been hiding in their homes inside the camp and Palestinian officials there said nine civilians were killed Monday.

After a morning of battles, the camp briefly fell silent Tuesday afternoon. Taha said the militants called a unilateral cease-fire, but it collapsed within an hour and heavy exchanges of fire and several explosions were heard. It was not known which side started firing.

The government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora appeared determined to pursue Fatah Islam. Lebanon's Cabinet late Monday authorized the army to step up its campaign and "end the terrorist phenomenon that is alien to the values and nature of the Palestinian people," Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said.

The Bush administration reaffirmed its support for Saniora's government Tuesday and indicated it suspected Syrian involvement.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said the Fatah Islam militants want to disrupt the nation's security and distract international attention from a U.N. effort to establish a special tribunal try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut.

The United States "will not tolerate attempts by
Syria, terrorist groups or any others to delay or derail Lebanon's efforts to solidify its sovereignty or seek justice in the Hariri case," Snow said.

Lebanese security officials accuse Syria of backing Fatah Islam to disrupt Lebanon. The charges are denied by Syria, which controlled Lebanon until 2005 when its troops were forced to withdraw from the country following Hariri's assassination.

The fighting, Lebanon's worst internal violence since the 1975-90 civil war, has added yet another layer of instability to an uneasy balancing act among numerous sects and factions vying for power. Saniora's government already faces a domestic political crisis, with the opposition led by Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah demanding its removal.

Major Palestinian factions have distanced themselves from Fatah Islam, which arose here last year and touts itself as a Palestinian liberation movement. But many view it as a nascent branch of al-Qaida-style terrorism with ambitions of carrying out attacks around the region.

The group's leader, Palestinian Shaker al-Absi, has been linked to the former head of al-Qaida in
Iraq and is accused in the 2002 assassination of a U.S. diplomat in Jordan. He moved into Nahr el-Bared last fall after being expelled from Syria, where he was in custody.

Since then, he is believed to have recruited about 100 fighters, including militants from Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other Arab countries, and he has said he follows the ideology of al-Qaida leader
Osama bin Laden. Among the militants killed Sunday was a man suspected in a plot to bomb trains in Germany last year, according to Lebanese security officials.

The Arab League condemned the "criminal and terrorist acts" committed by Fatah Islam and gave its "total support for the efforts exerted by the Lebanese government and army to assert security and stability."

The Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah Lebanon's strongest militant group and the main opposition to the government has so far been backing the army in its confrontation with the Sunni radicals.

The Hezbollah stance highlights the complex tensions among Lebanon's various factions and militant groups. Hezbollah, as a Shiite Muslim group, is a sworn ideological and religious enemy of groups like the Sunni Muslim Fatah Islam.

Late Monday, an explosion went off in a shopping area in a Sunni Muslim sector of Beirut, wrecking parked cars and injuring seven people a day after a bomb in a Christian part of the capital killed a woman. The two bombings while the fighting was going on in Tripoli were highly unusual. Taha, the Fatah Islam spokesman, denied his group was behind them.