Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Living with Cluster Bombs"

A deadly legacy remains in Lebanon as a result of last year's war. It is estimated that four million cluster bombs were dropped in the last three days of the war, a quarter of which did not explode on impact. To date, clearance organisations have disposed of a total of 118,000 bombs, leaving over 880,000 yet to be cleared. By June of this year 239 people, many of them children, were injured or killed by unexploded ordnance. Kristian Buus, a Danish photojournalist, visited Lebanon recently to make a film on the legacy of the cluster bombs left by Israel. You can view the short and long versions of "Living with Cluster Bombs" here:
In the film you meet Rashad Siblini from Tyre, a 26 year old who is clearing cluster bombs from affected areas, and Housam Sh'adi who is 34 and doing the same. They are helping people like Ali Salami, whose land in Tyre is littered with bomblets - Ali found 536 bomblets on his small patch of land before the UN even began their clearance operations. We are also introduced to Muhammed Nahle, a Lebanese Civil Defence volunteer whose leg was amputated as a result of a cluster bomb injury which took place on the last day of the war. His ability to remain optimistic in the light of such an injury is inspiring. These people are the heroes whose daily lives continue to be affected by the effects of last year's war. They are the faces and the living stories behind the statistics we hear. (lebanon united source)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Message of Peace and Love to ALL my fellow Lebanese everywhere in the world!

Dear Lebanese,

I would like this message to be a wake-up call to all Lebanese everywhere; whatever our political beliefs, religion or sect!

Please hear this plea:

Lebanon is going through a very difficult period on many different levels but most importantly on a street level.
I URGE everyone to try your best to calm the people around you. Now is not the time to 'talk' or to inflame friends and neighbours.
Please practice restraints!

If we allow them, the political crisis our politicians are putting us through will soon spill onto our streets!
If WE, as sovereign and independent Lebanese citizens , do nothing to stop it we will have a civil war on our hands again!
We have to use our rational and our common sense and not be manipulated into hatred of one another and street expressions!

None of us want to see our children fighting and killing each other on the streets again!
None of us want to witness a new wave of death, hate, destruction and humiliation again!
None of us want to be manipulated and treated like sheep without any will or conscious again!
None of us want to live in fear of sending our children to their universities and schools where students are being bullied and bitten for expressing an opinion again!

Please talk to your children and friends and convince them:
Not to rise to provocation
Not to allow anyone to push their buttons
Not to be source of provocation
Not to inflame other's political and/or religious loyalties
Not to get into a war of words with others over politics or religion
Not to get into fist-fights or feuds with others over politics or religion
Not to destroy or assist in the destruction of another's properties/cars over politics or religion
Not to be influenced into expressing their opinions in our streets !
NOT TO SPREAD ON THE INTERNET political messages, pictures and caricatures that can be provocative to anyone
If you love our Lebanon, please forward this message to as many Lebanese as you possibly can so that we can help calm and defuse a highly explosive situation and maybe avert a crisis!
Our country's survival and the lives of our children depend on our collective efforts !

Peace be upon us all!
A Patriotic Lebanese
On behalf of all Lebanese

Monday, June 04, 2007

Militants Open New Warfront to Ease Pressure on Fatah al-Islam in Nahr al-Bared

Islamic militants opened a new warfront in the southern refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh in a clear effort to ease the pressure on Fatah al-Islam fighters locked up in fierce gunbattles with Lebanese troops trying to crush the al-Qaida inspired terrorists deep inside Nahr al-Bared in north Lebanon.
A military spokesman said two Lebanese army soldiers and two Islamist extremists from Jund al-Sham were killed in the overnight clashes at Ain al-Hilweh.

They said 11 other people were also wounded in the fighting which broke out anew after militants attacked army checkpoints in Taamir, a residential area adjacent to Ain al-Hilweh, with grenades, prompting Lebanese troops to respond with artillery and machine gun fire.

Back at Nahr al-Bard, Lebanese troops on Sunday pushed ahead, pounding Fatah al-Islam hideouts relentlessly.

Many in Lebanon believed the army would be able to crush the Fatah al-Islam quickly, but after three days of fierce battles using artillery and tanks, the troops continued to face strong resistance.

Lebanese security officials said that Nahr al-Bared had been strategically divided into three zones. The army was controlling one zone, the militants held another, while Palestinian civilians and Fatah al-Islam guerrillas controlled the third and were refusing the militants sanctuary, they said.

Lebanese troops on Sunday fought their toughest battles with Fatah al-Islam militants holding out inside Nahr al-Bared.

White smoke rose from the camp all day as the Lebanese army resumed its bombardment of Fatah al-Islam hideouts, the third day of a military offensive aimed at crushing the fighters.

But unlike the first two days of the offensive against Fatah al-Islam when the army targeted areas on the edges of the Nahr el-Bared camp, Sunday's artillery fire was directed at militant positions deep inside the camp, indicating that troops were advancing further inside.

There was no way to tell exactly how deep the army had advanced into the camp, because the area had been sealed off and journalists were kept away.

Al-Arabiya's correspondent, reporting live from the scene of the fighting, said Lebanese troops penetrated deep into Nahr al-Bared around midday Sunday and were locked in "violent building-to-building" battles" with Fatah al-Islam militants around the Cooperative site inside the camp.

Correspondent for the state-run National News Agency in north Lebanon said army troops were in "full control over all axes" to Nahr al-Bared following heavy confrontations between the military and extremist fighters on Sunday.

NNA said the army advance was part of a plan aimed at tightening the noose on the militants who have been cornered in the operation that began early Sunday on the camp's Samed, Cooperative and al-Khan zones.

A senior Lebanese army officer said nine Lebanese troops have been killed, and several others wounded since Friday when the army launched its latest ground offensive against Fatah al-Islam militants.

The casualties raised the army's death toll to 44 since the standoff began two weeks ago. At least 20 civilians and about 60 militants have also been killed, but casualties in the camp in the last three days were unknown because relief organizations were banned from entering.

Fatah al-Islam spokesman Abu Salim Taha confirmed that five Fatah al-Islam fighters, including a senior leader, have been killed and seven wounded since Friday.

Officials said the group's third-in-command, Naim Deeb Ghali, identified as Abu Riad, who was known to send fighters to Iraq, was also killed in the gunbattles with Lebanese troops.

NNA reported four Islamist militants were killed on Sunday, including the group's deputy leader Shehab al-Qaddour, better known as Abu Hureira.

Al-Arabiya, however, said there were conflicting reports on whether Abu Hureira, a Lebanese, was killed or wounded in his shoulder.

LBC television said Lebanese troops have also rounded up more than 20 militants.

In other developments, the main road linking Tripoli with the province of Akkar and the Syrian border reopened Sunday. Vehicles were seen passing on the road that was closed for two days by Lebanese troops over fears of snipers.

Earlier Sunday, the army denied that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon was helping Lebanese troops in their fight against Fatah al-Islam.(Naharnet-AFP-AP)(AP photo shows the Lebanese army shelling a building being used by a militant sniper in Nahr al-Bared)

Beirut, 04 Jun 07, 08:01

Sunday, June 03, 2007

ein il hilweh

my father back in 1998 had this cartoon drawn ... about a possible explosion
in Ain il Helwe camp . reading the news today about the camp and the fights that erupted between jund il islam (where do these people spring from ?) and fatah...

here is the cartoon...

Translation( ain il helweh camp)

Ain al-Hilweh (variously, Ayn al-Hilweh, Ein al-Hilweh, etc.; the literal meaning is "eye of beauty") (Arabic: عين الحلوة) is the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon with over 70,000 refugees, located on the outskirts of the port of Sidon.[1] Due to the fact that Lebanese Armed Forces are not allowed to enter the camp Ain al-Hilweh has been called a "zone of unlaw" by the Lebanese media.[2] Many people wanted by the Lebanese government are believed to have taken refuge in the camp as a result of the lack of Lebanese authority.[3]