News Release

Shelling in Lebanon

SAMAR ASSAD
Assad is executive director of the Palestine Center in Washington, D.C. She said today: “Conditions of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon — who have been there for nearly 60 years — are the worst of virtually any refugee population. During the talks in Taba under the Clinton administration, it was thought they would be the first to be allowed back on Palestinian territory because of their conditions. Many of us have been warning that the way in which Israel and the U.S. have attacked and shunned the elected Hamas party — Israel just bombed the home of an elected Hamas leader this weekend — and the deteriorating political, security and humanitarian conditions in which Palestinians are living in the Occupied Territory was opening the door to Al-Qaeda to use Palestinian conditions.”
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JOHN QUIGLEY
Professor of international law at Ohio State University, Quigley is author of the book The Case for Palestine: An International Law Perspective. He said today: “Customary international law says that refugees can’t be thrust on other countries. When a new sovereign comes into existence, as Israel did in 1948, it assumes responsibilities for the population and must allow the entry of any of the inhabitants who are abroad, even if their citizenship relates to the prior sovereign. So, after the 1948 war, Israel was responsible for repatriating the Palestinian refugees who have lived in neighboring countries ever since.”

AS’AD ABUKHALIL
AbuKhalil is author of several books on the Mideast including Historical Dictionary of Lebanon. He said today: “The Lebanese government is claiming that this group, Fath Al-Islam, is linked to Syria. This is false; in fact, the group is fanatically opposed to the Syrian government. The Syrian tyrannical regime, worried most about its survival, is known for its brutal wars against Islamist dissidents. …

“In Gaza, in Iraq and now in Lebanon, you have U.S. proxy governments with little legitimacy attacking civilian areas in the name of ridding the U.S. of some of its enemies — real and imagined. …

“The Hariri family has been at least since 2000 nurturing and financing Sunni fanatical groups throughout Lebanon. After the assassination of Rafiq Hariri in 2005, his son (who did not have much political experience) had to resort to the two weapons in his arsenal: 1) money; 2) narrow sectarian agitation. In the 2005 election in northern Lebanon, many of the fanatical groups that had not been allowed to operate openly in Lebanon, came out of the shadows and benefited from Saudi largess. The Lebanese media … are noting that this fanatical group, Fath Al-Islam, is not predominantly Palestinian: most of the fighters are Saudi and Lebanese. Some of the leaders were active in the Hariri political camp in Lebanon, and some were linked to the torching of Christian churches and businesses in 2006 when they (under the support of the Hariri family) demonstrated to protest Danish cartoons.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020