Electronic Lebanon

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Israel driving southern Lebanese into Hizballah's arms

Anand Gopal
23 August 2007

MAROUN AL-RAS, Southern Lebanon, 22 August (IPS) - It has been especially difficult for Ali Nasrallah to tend to his garden this time of year. Nasrallah, a 40-year-old construction worker from Taybeh in southern Lebanon, lost his mother, father, brother and sister during last year’s war between Hizballah and Israel. “Every time I water my garden, I remember the atrocity that happened to my family,” he says. “It is a deep wound on my soul.” Almost exactly a year ago, Israeli soldiers arrived at the Nasrallahs’ modest two-floor home. As Ali’s sister stood near the small garden that marks the home’s entrance, the soldiers tossed a grenade at the house, killing her instantly, Nasrallah says.

Israelis airdrop an occupation

Simba Russeau
20 August 2007

BEIRUT, 17 August (IPS) - With an estimated one million unexploded land ordnances meaning lack of access to their lands, many farmers in southern Lebanon see cluster bombs as an Israeli “occupation.” An estimated 25 percent of cultivated land is now inaccessible in the south. Last summer, Israel pounded Lebanon with over four million cluster bombs and artillery shells that destroyed villages, displaced thousands and wrecked more than 70 percent of the southern economy. Financial losses to the livestock sector alone were estimated at nearly 22 million dollars.

Revisiting the summer war

Jonathan Cook
16 August 2007

This week marks a year since the end of hostilities now officially called the Second Lebanon War by Israelis. A month of fighting — mostly Israeli aerial bombardment of Lebanon, and rocket attacks from the Shia militia Hizballah on northern Israel in response — ended with more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians and a small but unknown number of Hizballah fighters dead, as well as 119 Israeli soldiers and 43 civilians. EI contributor Jonathan Cook finds that many significant developments since the war have gone unnoticed, including several that seriously put in question Israel’s account of what happened last summer.

"Army torturing Palestinian refugees"

Anand Gopal and
Saseen Kawzally
14 August 2007

BADDAWI REFUGEE CAMP, Northern Lebanon, 13 August (IPS) - Palestinians displaced by the fighting at the northern Lebanese refugee camp Nahr al-Bared have accused the Lebanese army of torturing and abusing civilians. As the fighting between the Sunni Islamist group Fatah al-Islam and the Lebanese army enters its 12th week, thousands of Nahr al-Bared residents have sought refuge in the nearby Baddawi camp. Many give detailed descriptions of days spent in detention under harsh interrogation.

Refugees, again

Dina Awad and
Matthew Cassel
Baddawi Refugee Camp,
Lebanon
13 August 2007

In June 2006, Dr. Tawfiq Assad stepped out of the seaside Rafiq Hariri airport in Beirut and took a deep breath of the Mediterranean air. It wasn’t home but it was as close to it as he had ever been. Dr. Assad returned to Lebanon to visit family and friends for what he thought would only be a few weeks’ stay. A Palestinian refugee himself, Dr. Assad’s story is not uncommon. His family was forced from their home in Nazareth during the Nakba in 1948 when the Zionist armies invaded to make way for the Jewish state.

Radio Tadamon! reflects on Lebanon war

11 August 2007

This special edition of Radio Tadamon!, a monthly hour-long radio program broadcasted in Montreal and uploaded to the Internet, focuses on commemorating the July 2006 Israeli military assault on Lebanon. The 34-day war left over 1,300 Lebanese civilians dead, large parts of the national infrastructure destroyed and southern Lebanon littered with over a million unexploded cluster bombs. The program features multiple testimonies and reflections on the 2006 war on Lebanon recorded at a Montreal community commemoration event that attracted hundreds of participants from the Montreal region.

Rival Islamist groups vie for control of refugee camp

6 August 2007

EIN AL-HILWEH, 5 August 2007 (IRIN) - Ein al-Hilweh, Lebanon’s largest and most lawless refugee camp, has a street called Sharia Bustan Yahoudi (Jewish Park Street); the irony is a small instance among a litany of indignities suffered by the Palestinian refugees living there. “It’s named after the Jews who used to live around Sidon,” Khoder Abdel Aziz, a 24-year-old resident of the street, tells us, referring to the neighboring port city, 45 kilometers south of Beirut.

Dreaming of Nahr al-Bared

Marcy Newman
Beirut,
Lebanon
4 August 2007

Last week a group of international activists, people from Shatila refugee camp, and a group of people from the Nahr al-Bared displaced committee held a meeting to discuss how to break the media blackout about the siege on Nahr al-Bared refugee camp. One of the men at the meeting asked us, “How do we get the story of our situation into the media on a daily basis so that people will go to sleep at night dreaming of people from Nahr al-Bared?”

Lebanon's bloody summer

Mohamad Bazzi
23 July 2007

This is the state of Lebanon today: deep sectarian anger that could boil over at any moment. In mixed Beirut neighborhoods, tensions rise between Sunnis and Shiites after each bombing. Tempers flare, small fights get out of hand, people start calling their friends and relatives to come in from other areas to help them and eventually the police have to step in. (A Shiite friend who lives in a mainly Sunni neighborhood told me that for several days after Eido’s killing, he found a broken egg each morning on his car.) And there’s no shortage of bombings to stoke tensions.

Smiling through the pain

Alison Phillips
Burj al-Barajne Refugee Camp
22 July 2007

Fadia greets me with a warm smile of welcome lighting up her face and takes me to her home in Burj al-Barajne camp, Beirut, where I am to stay for three weeks, trying to help with a summer activity program for some of the children, and to improve the English of her kindergarten teachers. She has an infectious laugh and seems to find much to smile about. As I stay in the camp and learn more of what it means to be a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon I marvel at her strength of character, a common feature of the Palestinian women I have met.

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