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OPT/Lebanon: Situation Report, 31 May 2007

Situation Report
Originally published
Richard J. Cook

Brief lull in fighting allows aid into Nahr al-Bared

A brief truce held from mid-morning until the early evening on 30 May at the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, giving enough time for some aid convoys to enter. The truce followed a night of intermittent but intense clashes, during which the Lebanese Army used artillery to answer the militants' attacks.

The clashes resumed on 30 May after 6 p.m., starting with light fire and sniping activity which escalated to involve medium and heavy weapons. Media reports estimated that between 6 and 10 Fatah al-Islam militants have been killed in recent clashes.

An army statement said that the Tripoli-Abde highway was subject to snipers' activity from inside the camp. While the road remained open, one civilian was wounded by sniper fire. The army said militants inside the camp were using high buildings as sniper nests.

Fatah al-Islam members charged with terrorism

Military Magistrate Jean Fahd indicted on 30 May 11 members of Fatah al-Islam with charges punishable by the death penalty according to Lebanon's penal code. The 11 suspects, 10 Lebanese and one Syrian, were arrested in north Lebanon after the breakout of clashes between the Lebanese army and the militants 11 days ago.

UN Sets Up Tribunal to Try Hariri's Killers

The UN Security Council voted on 30 May to set up an international tribunal to prosecute suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri two years ago. The 15-member council adopted a legally binding resolution that sets June 10 as the date for the entry into force of a 2006 agreement between the United Nations and the Beirut government to establish the court.

Legislator Saad Hariri welcomed the UN vote on 30 May to set up the international tribunal that would try ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's suspected assassins.

Committee 'improving' Palestinians' lives

The Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee issued a statement on 30 May outlining achievements made by Premier Fouad Siniora's government since the committee was established October 13, 2005. The committee was charged with holding talks with representatives of Palestinian factions and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to find solutions to all the problems plaguing the lives of Palestinian refugees.


Situation in the north: Strong deployment of Lebanese army and Internal Security Forces. Situation is now quiet but cautious following heavy clashes and shelling last night in the Camp.

Only the PRCS ambulances and the ICRC are permitted to enter NBC despite the unstable security situation. Humanitarian situation inside Nahr EL Bared remains unchanged. It is estimated that about 6000 families have left the Camp

In Beddawi Camp, all UNRWA installations (other than schools) are operating normally.

So far, a total of 5142 displaced families are in North Lebanon Area (inside and outside Beddawi).

Situation in CLA: All UNRWA installations operating normally. A total of 357 displaced families from Nahr el Bared Camp have arrived in Central Lebanon Area (Beirut)

Situation in Beqaa: All UNRWA operations in Beqaa area are functioning normally. A total of 87 displaced families have arrived in the Beqaa area.

Situation in Tyre: All installations operating normally. A total of 201 displaced families from Nahr el Bared Camp arrived to Tyre area.

Situation in Saida: UNRWA services are operating normally. A total of 232 families displaced from Nahr el-Bared camp arrived in Saida.

UNRWA assistance to the displaced families continued:. It includes: Mattresses, pillows, covers hygiene kits and food parcels (containing food supplies for 5 persons for a period of 30 days).