Anand Gopal

Hamas flag goes up in Lebanon camps

BADDAWI CAMP, Lebanon, 5 September (IPS) - There is a new look to the entrance of the Palestinian refugee camp Baddawi in northern Lebanon. Hanging above the armed man who guards the entrance are posters of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the slain spiritual leader of Hamas, and other fighters from the Palestinian guerrilla group. Nearby, a huge Hamas banner covers the side of a house, and down the road Hamas flags flutter in the wind. 

Israel driving southern Lebanese into Hizballah's arms

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. 

"Army torturing Palestinian refugees"

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.