Posted by: Lister | September 30, 2007

Nahr al-Bared in ruins

From Lebanon’s Daily Star:

The once bustling marketplace of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp is today a dust-clad ghost town, with many of the charred bullet-riddled buildings in the “new camp” still intact but vacant. Lebanese and Palestinian officials declared Friday that some of the displaced could return to some parts of the camp within a week to 10 days.

Journalists, who Friday were allowed into the camp for the first time since fighting stopped on September 2, were accompanied by the head of the Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue Committee, Khalil Makkawi, PLO representative in Lebanon Abbas Zaki, Hamas representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan and other officials.

Makkawi promised that some of the displaced whose homes are in the new part of the camp and relatively intact will be allowed to return in a week or 10 days. “The old part of the camp is 90 percent destroyed. The new part only 60 percent destroyed. What can be fixed immediately will be, some people can go back in a few days,” he said.

[…] A senior army source said the army still needs a week to clear the remaining parts of the old camp. “The new camp is free of mines, the old camp is not. The new camp was a mixed residential area, there were Palestinians as well as Lebanese living here,” the source said.

[…] Abu Jaber, a PFLP official who left his home in Nahr al-Bared two months after fighting broke out, hasn’t seen his residence since. “Its like a tsunami went through here,” he said, describing the market area along the coast. “Thousands of Lebanese used to come to this marketplace, this is just the entrance of the souk, this was once an asphalt road.”

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