PFLP-GC orders Palestinian refugee camps on alert in Lebanon

Surrounded by an uncertain climate following recent bombings and the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Harriri, the Palestinian refugee community in Lebanon is feeling the pinch:

Pro-Syrian Palestinian group puts refugee camps on alert

29 September 2005
Daily Star

Beirut — BEIRUT, Lebanon: In an unprecedented move, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, based in Syria, Ahmad Jibril instructed all PFLP-GC officials in refugee camps in Lebanon to be on full alert and be ready for mobilization at any moment.

According to Lebanese security sources, Jibril said this measure was due to the fact that Lebanese authorities took security measures along the road extending from Yanta in the western Bekaa to the Baalbek-Homs road where they set up checkpoints at more than 25 illegal entry points along the border.

Sources said an emergency meeting was expected to be held at the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut between PFLP-GC representatives and representatives of Palestinian factions as The Daily Star went to press.

Lebanese security authorities warned all security and military personnel to stay away from the camps for “fear of friction or kidnappings,” according to the source.

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have come under increasingly heavy pressure since the issuing of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for the disarmament of all militias in Lebanon. Security procedures were taken last month in the camps with checkpoints being placed at the entrance to the camps.

See our last post on Lebanese politics.

  1. Lebanese army tightens grip on pro-Syrian Palestinian militia
    Last update – 01:21 30/09/2005
    Lebanese army tightens grip on pro-Syrian Palestinian militia
    By Reuters

    Lebanon’s army has tightened controls around the posts of a pro-Syrian Palestinian guerrilla group which faces pressure to disarm under the terms of a UN Security Council resolution, security sources said on Thursday.

    Army units erected checkpoints and beefed up its presence around the positions of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) in al-Naemeh, just south of Beirut, and the Bekaa Valley, the sources said.

    They were speaking on condition of anonymity and did not give further details. Palestinian sources said the army’s move was unusual and described it as politically motivated.

    The Security Council’s resolution 1559 demands the disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militia, a reference to the Hizbollah guerrilla group and Palestinian factions.

    UN special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen discussed the issue of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo on Wednesday in relation to resolution 1559, a UN official in Beirut told Reuters.

    He gave no further details on the meeting’s outcome.

    Resolution 1559 was passed in 2004, demanding the withdrawal of all Syrian troops and intelligence from Lebanon and the disarmament of all militia gropups.

    Syria pulled its troops out of Lebanon in April 2005, 2 months after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri which sparked a wave of protests.