Reports & Researches

Prevention of the building materials from entering Tyre camps


Prevention of the building materials from entering Tyre camps and prevention of property outside the camps

The Human Effects Borj El Shamali Camp as an example


The Lebanese government took a sudden decision in 1997 of preventing all the building materials from entering Tyre Camps without mentioning the real causes that stand behind the decision. But on 23/11/2004, the government allowed the material to enter the camps for 6 months only, but again the materials were prevented from entering the camps on 14/6/2005.
This prevention is considered a very clear violation for the right of residence. Moreover, it threatens the old buildings of falling and puts the people life in dangerous conditions. What makes the condition harder the refusal of ownership for the Palestinians according to the law that was issued by the parlaiment in 2001.

The Causes of The Study

1- The negative effects in all the levels of the Palestinians refugee.
2- The necessary need for building new houses or mending.
3- Poverty that includes most of the camps residents.
4- The illegality of the Lebanese actions.
5- The discriminating laws that prevent the Palestinians to own property.
6- The lack of any real solutions.

General Definitions:

Borj El Shamali is one of the three camps in Tyre in addition of to the gatherings that spread on the coastal line.  This camp was founded in 1955.  it lies 3 km to the east of Tyre and all its in habitants are from Houleh and Tabaria (North of Palestine).
According to UNRWA statistics, this camp has 18675 person (September 2005).  It is a little bit more than 1 km2 and it is the same area as that when it was founded in 1955 but with a different number of residents (5000). This means that the population has increased 4 times whale the area is the same.  The camp was subjected to destruction during the years of civil war and Israelian invation.

 The unemployment rate is very high in the camp while men work seasonally in agriculture, building, and daily paid work. More women work inagriculture, and as servants to clean the houses.

 The other camps don’t differ from Borj El Shamali for they have many common things as poverty and suffering.

• Prevention of Building materials from the legal side:

The Lebanese army who has fixed check points at the camps entrances, implements this decision.
Unfortunately, people who violet the law are taken to prison or pay financial penalty.  This means that the council of ministers is responsible of this decision. Although the Lebanese army actions were some how reduced the prevention is still applied.
 The decision was taken and implemented since 1/1/1997 and the prevention was very hard nothing that has any relation with the building material can enter the camps.  (nails, wood, sand, etc,…). The condition continued the same till 22/11/2004 when allowed to enter these materials.  It was a big chance for the residents to build houses.  Unfortunately , the prevention was declared again in 14/6/2005 without and convincing logical reasons.  This is a big violation of the human rights principles.
 The first articles (Declaration of Human Rights) states that all people are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  They all have mind and feelings, so they should treat each other equally with love.

And anyone who tries to enter some building materials, will be subjected to unfair actions which is a contradiction with legal trial.  It is not allowed to arrest any person or imprison him abusively according to article nine of the Declaration of Human Rights.

Many houses fall down and the disagreement between the place of residence and the family members is a contradiction with article 11 of the International Agreement of social and Economical Rights of Social and Economical Rights.
This states that living to him and all the family as food, clothing, residence and of improving and developing his living conditions.


• the Negative Effects of this Prevention:

This decision (prevention of building materials) is one of the most urgent human materials because all the reasons that are given by the Lebanese government are not clear.  The big suffering that this decision has is unclear accurately, but it hits the humanity of the refugee deep in the bottom with a lot of questions about this condition.  This also has a lot of psychological effects, and how he can challenge the social problems (family conditions), but we can state some negative effects:
1- Peoples lives are not safe because of the houses that fall down.
2- Allowing the building materials is possible of only two ways:
a) Through buying these materials from a third party which increases the cost to be double or triple.
b) Or through having a permission is not easily given and it needs a lot of actions and time.
The high price of the materials prevent people from buying because not all the people are able to buy, so they have to wait till the conditions become better. And people who get the permission are not a lot.
3- the disagreement between the area of the house and the ability to increase it financially or legally with the number of the family members causes a lot of problems.  This also causes depression and despair because the conditions are not improved.  This leads the people to immigrate for better living conditions and this of they can bear the costs of traveling.
4- What increases this condition and makes it darker is issuing the law that prevents the Palestinians from ownership in March 2001.This means that they cant buy or own outside their camps and can't build inside the camps.
5- The prevention from increasing the area of the camps increases the population, and makes the building very near and not healthy or suitable for living. As a result the diseases have increased in the camps.

• the Palestinian- Lebanese Discussion and Human Rights:
The mass media talks about the barter of the Palestinian weapons with the refugees human rights.  This is according to some Lebanese leaders.  This case doesn’t bear barter because it is an absolute right. Mr. Farid Mkary's words that the building materials are allowed to enter the camps is a sign of good relations.  But what is happening negates this completely.  Human rights logic doesn't agree with this because rights can't be exchanged or bought in an auction, and also can't be negotiated. (Revise AlSafir Newspaper 1/2006).

• Recommendations:
- Allowing entering the building materials easily and without any restrictions with the great role of UNRWA (Area Office).
- Increasing the area of the camps for the sake of urgent human causes away of the talking about settlement because camps are really a human bomb that may explode at any time.

• Amendment of ownership law (21/3/2001) and allowing the Palestinian of ownership as any other foreigner which has a positive effect in reducing their suffering and especially residence.
• Dealing with the Palestinian subject as a humanitarian one not political or according to security.


 The Palestinian Association
 For Human Rights



Specific thanks for:

Shahed representatives in Borj El Shamali, Mr. Mahmoud Dawood, Mr. Ali Azzam, Mr. Walid Nor Eldine and others.

• an appendix of the most important things mentioned by the political Palestinians.
- Hasan Hoballah (member of parliament)
- Lawyer Rajab Shalaan.