Monday, September 10, 2007
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
"BIBNIN, 10 September 2007 (IRIN).......
“Why should we rebuild the camp?”
The government has pledged to rebuild the camp and is hosting a donor conference on 10 September in coordination with the Palestinian relief organisation, UNRWA, to raise money for Nahr al-Bared’s reconstruction.
However, problems of unexploded ordnance, unsafe buildings and the danger of disease inside the devastated camp will take many months to overcome before reconstruction can even begin, and the government is now facing a growing chorus of anger from local residents such as Rawa Fiyad, who say they do not want to see Nahr al-Bared rebuilt at all.
“Why should we rebuild the camp? The Palestinians brought destruction to this area, so let another, wealthier country host them,” she said.
“The Palestinians protected Fatah al-Islam in their camp and they took money from them,” said `mukhtar’ (local official) Jamal Abu Khalil, who said he nearly died after being shot by a sniper from inside the camp. “They are betrayers, so we decided as civilians that we will fight the Palestinians - and the Lebanese army if they try and rebuild the camp.”
Palestinian leaders in Lebanon have roundly condemned Fatah al-Islam, which broke from Damascus-based Palestinian group Fatah Intifada in November last year. Among dozens of former residents of Nahr al-Bared interviewed since April by IRIN on the subject of Fatah al-Islam, none supported the group......"