Reports & Researches

Witness - calls to remove the military situation imposed on the Nahr al-Bared

Witness - calls to remove the military situation imposed on the Nahr al-Bared
and to use humanization security measures to stop the crisis 

The Palestinian Association for Human Rights (witness) issued a report about the events that start in the Nahr al-Bared camp on Friday, 15/6/2012, which led to lose one martyr and five wounded persons in the camp, and a number of the Lebanese army was wounded. According to the data and information that "witness" has compiled on these events reveals that these events can be avoided if it were subjected to the necessity rules of military steps, and that these events may be repeated at any time in other refugee camps in Lebanon, if not humanized the security measures and remove the military situation on Nahr al-Bared.

Certification of people:
On the evening of Friday, 15/6/2012, at six o'clock, many soldiers of the Lebanese army during a patrol inside the camp tried to stop and arrest a Palestinian youngster who was driving a motorcycle without legal papers. According to the Lebanese army report or statement on 15/6/2012 that mentioned during the arrival of many members of the army to the house of the owner of the motorcycle, a quarrel and pushes happened between the members of the army and the youngster which led to push a Palestinian woman that fell on the ground. The situation had complicated and developed when the soldiers had beaten the owner of the motorcycle according to the certification of people who were there, then dozens of residents from the camp gathered, trying to prevent the Lebanese army from arresting him. Then many Palestinians youngsters threw the patrol of the army with stones, so a soldiers from the patrol opened fire in the air one times and then towards the protesting young people, which led to kill a victim named "Ahmed Adel Anis Kassim", 17-year-old and many other people wounded in the head, and other parts of their bodies. Later, during the funeral of the first martyr Ahmed Adnan al-Qassem, another person was killed, named Fouad Ali Mohiuddin Lubani in the fourth decade of age, and several were injured. 
According to our representative in the north region, the names of the wounded that were taken to Safad hospital in Badawi camp are:
  1. Khalid Nasser kammar / seriously injured in his hand, led to cut the left palm of his hand.
  2. Ahmed Adel Ganomi / chest injury, described as moderate injury.
  3. Nader Mohamed Rashid / head injury, described as moderate to minor injury.
  4. Suhaib Hassan Osman / leg injury.
  5. Issam Walid Abdel Aal / injury in the feet.
The Lebanese army arrested a number of youth of the camp, that's just been released at a later time. As a result of this tension and according to many residents of the camp who announced that the telephone communications were cut from the area of Nahr al-Bared.

The novel of the Lebanese army:
The Lebanese army issued two statements about this incident in 15/6/2012 and 16/6/2012.
The first statement explaining briefly what has been happened during an attempt to arrest a person who was without legal paper for his motorcycle, a group of Palestinians youth interfered and began throwing the patrol army with stones and cut the roads that leading to the camp, and while a military patrol tried to open the road, some of trouble maker people tried to prevent them, resulting many injuries.
The second statement talks about a meeting with the Director of General Intelligence Brigadier Edmond Fadel in the presence of a number of his assistants with the representatives of Palestinian factions. The Brigadier Fadel introduced the sorrows of the commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces Jan Kahwaji of the fall of victims from the Palestinian civilians, and military Lebanese army, and had promised to open an investigation about the circumstances of the incident and to determine the responsibilities, and to avoid the repetition of what had happened.
The Palestinian factions held an emergency meeting at the Palestinian embassy in Beirut, after the meeting they issued a statement on 16/6/2012 which include great sorrows about the events of Nahr al-Bared, and stressed of the awareness of the Palestinian people to keep civil peace in Lebanon. The participants' factions also condemned the shooting of the civilian people in the camp and demanded the leadership of the army to set up an investigation committee about the incident, and lifting restrictions on the military situation around the camp.

The Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) recorded the following observations about these developments:
  • The security siege and the pressure that imposed on and around the camp for more than five years, after the battles between the members of Fatah al-Islam and the Lebanese army in 20/5/2007, these strict security measures provided a fertile ground for the outbreak of tension and violence, which is confirmed by the angry reaction of the residents in the camp. Meanwhile that the camp's residents had left the camp during the early days of battles, and left the battle only between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam members.
  • It was supposed that the members of the Lebanese army should use peaceful means to disperse the demonstrators (water cannons, tear gas, stun grenades ...), although if there was a military necessity to use force, it must be implemented gradually, and should not be firing randomly, and should be limited by military necessity.
  • The incident that occurred on the evening of Friday, 15/06/2012, it is the spark that made tension of the situation, as a result of the deteriorating economic and social conditions of Palestinian refugees in general, and particularly the residents of Nahr al-Bared, which is subjected to continues security measures, and the delayed in the reconstruction process (only two packages from seven is only has performed), and other stressing reasons that provide the ground for tension and violence. The ignorance of the origin of the problem and only aware with the shape of it is a mistaken way to deal with what had happened.
  • The military situation is the biggest obstacle in the way of the natural life inside the camp, which imposes a permission system to deal with the movement of the inhabitants and the reconstruction process that prolonged and delayed, more over stumble of the economy life in the camp.
  • The constant pressure that’s the camp's residents faced has created a state of anger and despair of the promises of continuous improvement of their situation and the remove of the strict military situation and measures.
  • The calls to demonstrate and protest and comments across social networking sites clearly indicate the size of the gap between what is required by residents of the camp and what actually is happening in the camp.
  1. The need for urgent quick investigation to determine the circumstances of the incident, and to referral the shooters to the civilian or military courts.
  2. The Lebanese government should take a clear decision as soon as possible, to remove the military situation imposed on the camp for more than five years, after the removal of the causes of this situation.
  3. The Lebanese state should take urgent decision via its institutions whether (legislative, executive and judicial) to improve in particular the situation of refugees and to allow them to own real estate and to work without obstacles.
  4. The ignorance of Palestinians human rights and the postponement of search them under any pretext will be the fuel of any tension and turmoil. The partial actions here and there do not address the origin of the problem, but it may delay the tensions and turmoil for indefinite time. Therefore it is necessary of the Lebanese state to commitment to all international laws and rules on human rights, towards the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Beirut, 21/6/2012
Palestinian Association for Human Rights (witness)