Evidence is emerging that the Lebanese army deliberately destroyed the homes of Palestinians in the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon during a siege this summer.
The siege pitted Islamist militants from the Fateh el-Islam group against the Lebanese army. The militants first entered the camp with the connivance of the US-backed Lebanese government.
Few Palestinians supported the group, but they paid a heavy price when the Lebanese army pummelled their homes and businesses.
Palestinian refugees have now begun to trickle back only to learn that the army has torched and looted their homes.
Irish peace activist Michael Birmingham entered the camp.
He wrote, “Over the past two weeks, since the camp was partly reopened to a few of its residents, many of us who have been there have been stunned by a powerful reality.
“Beyond the destruction of the homes from three months of bombing, room after room, house after house have been burned. Burned from the inside.
“Amongst the ashes on the ground, are the insides of what appear to have been car tyres. The walls have soot dripping down from what seems clearly to have been something flammable sprayed on them.
“Rooms, houses, shops, garages – all blackened ruins, yet having had no damage from bombing or battle. They were burned deliberately by people entering and torching them.”
Michael Birmingham’s report What Happened in Nahr el-Bared? is available at » www.commondreams.org