Ray Smith

Nahr al-Bared reconstruction delays protested

Ray Smith
1 October 2009

Since the end of August, construction equipment in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared, near the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, has stood unused after the Lebanese State Council granted a two month moratorium for the reconstruction of the camp. Nahr al-Bared, home to approximately 30,000 refugees, was destroyed during a three-month-long battle between the Lebanese army and the militant group Fatah al-Islam in the summer of 2007. Ray Smith reports for Electronic Lebanon.

Nahr al-Bared a test case for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

Ray Smith
27 August 2009

NAHR AL-BARED, Lebanon (IPS) - Palestinian refugees at Nahr al-Bared in north Lebanon are living under tight military siege two years after a war destroyed the refugee camp. It has now become a test case for a new approach in Lebanon’s security policy towards Palestinian refugee camps.

Nahr al-Bared's future remains unclear as army holds on to neighborhoods

Ray Smith
19 June 2009

The three-month-long war between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam militants in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared in northern Lebanon ended on 2 September 2007. While the Lebanese army has allowed displaced residents to return to some parts of the camp, the fate of other parts of the camp still under the army’s control remains unclear. Ray Smith reports for Electronic Lebanon.

No work in Nahr al-Bared camp

Ray Smith
11 June 2009

Mohammad and Mahmoud sat on an idle field on the edge of the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared in northern Lebanon. While Mahmoud sang to the songs being played on his mobile phone, Mohammad used his for gaming. Mohammad looked up and explained, “We spend our days doing nothing. We get up and sit at the cafe for a few hours. Then we go home and pray. We gather again and return to the cafe. There we sit until the evening. Every day passes like this.” Ray Smith reports on the dire economic conditions in Nahr al-Bared.

Two years later, no reconstruction in Nahr al-Bared

Ray Smith
20 May 2009

About two years ago, a battle broke out between the Lebanese army and the militant group Fatah al-Islam in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared in northern Lebanon. The summer-long battle concluded in September 2007 and the camp was totally destroyed — the rubble indicating that the destruction was systematic, most likely committed by the Lebanese army. After several delays, the UN-mandated core of the camp, the so-called “old camp,” has meanwhile been cleared of approximately 600,000 meters of rubble. Yet, reconstruction hasn’t begun and residents are still unable to enter the old camp, the access of which is controlled by the Lebanese army, and displaced refugees are increasingly resentful. Ray Smith reports.

Uncertainty clouds Nahr al-Bared's future

Ray Smith
Nahr al-Bared refugee camp
22 October 2008

One year has passed since the first Palestinians were allowed to return to the outskirts of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, destroyed by the Lebanese army during three months of fighting in the summer of 2007 with Fatah al-Islam, a small Islamist militant group. Meanwhile, up to 15,000 people have resettled in the camp. Ray Smith reports on their situation from Nahr al-Bared.

Picking oranges the Palestinian way

Ray Smith
Burj al-Shemali refugee camp
19 October 2008

Burj al-Shemali is located at the edge of Tyre and was established in the early 1950s after Zionist forces expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland. Today some 20,000 people live in the quiet, but fenced-in Burj al-Shemali Camp. More than two-thirds of its labor force work at least part-time in agriculture. Ray Smith writes from southern Lebanon.

Nahr al-Bared: more questions than answers

Ray Smith
22 May 2008

One year ago, on 20 May 2007, the fighting began between the Lebanese army and the militant group Fatah al-Islam in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon. During more than three months of fighting between the army and the extremist group, more than 47 Palestinian civilians, 178 soldiers and at least 220 militants were killed. More than half a year after the battle came to an end, only a fraction of its residents have been allowed to return.

Video: Who burned Nahr al-Bared?

Ray Smith
5 May 2008

Since 10 October 2007, residents of the destroyed Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon have been gradually allowed by the Lebanese army to return to the ruins of their homes. However, the core of the camp, the so-called “old camp,” as well as parts of the “new camp,” which doesn’t fall under the mandate of the UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, remain sealed off and are still under the exclusive control of the Lebanese army. Ray Smith reports from Nahr al-Bared.

The "humanitarian" sidelining of Nahr al-Bared

Ray Smith
7 April 2008

On the rare occasions the media have covered the situation of destroyed Nahr al-Bared camp’s more than 30,000 inhabitants, they have done so with only a narrow focus on the humanitarian problems they face — ignoring the glaring political questions that only the camp residents seem to be left asking. Ray Smith analyzes such a report for Electronic Lebanon.

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