Lebanon + 1 more

Lebanon - the situation on the ground

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Olfat Mahmoud, director of the Women's Humanitarian Organisation, our partner in Lebanon, has issued the following statement.

WOMEN'S HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATION

Clarification Statement

"Dear Friends,

Regarding the recent clashes between the Lebanese army and the armed group Fateh al Islam in Tripoli and Naher Al Bared Palestinian refugee camp, we felt that we should clarify some important issues:

Fateh Al Islam is not a Palestinian body and has no support among Palestinians:

- They entered the camp six months ago and the camp has had no power to ask them to leave.

- They appear to be of mixed nationality such as: Lebanese, Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians, Saudi Arabians. They have no link to Fateh or any PLO members.

- Due to their presence, the Lebanese army once again surrounded the camp, thus limiting free access to the surrounding community and representatives of International Non Government Organisations and Local NGOs. So there has been a downturn in the economic situation. The recent clashes have resulted in lack of water, food, electricity and emergency medical assistance.

- Many civilians were killed and injured, including children, and it has been impossible to get them out or treat them inside the camp because no hospitals or clinics are there.

- Naher Al Bared camp is not equipped to face this catastrophe, there are no hospitals, no facilities, no shelters.

We urge the following:

- Better understanding of the current situation and to distinguish between Fateh Al Islam and the Palestinians.

- Allowing the continued access of the Red Cross to evacuate wounded people.

- Civilians need to be able to leave the camp safely and find refuge until the problem of Fateh Islam is resolved.

- Allow and facilitate emergency supplies to the civilians in the camps if possible and, for the ones who could, allow them to leave the camp and seek a safe shelter.

We hope we will be all working together to reduce civilians' suffering and also promote peace and justice. "

Contact Details

Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA
Ph: (02) 9264 9343
Fax: (02) 9261 1118
office@apheda.org.au