The effects of the intifada in the Lebanese camps:
“the elderly will not die, and the young will not forget”
Palestinian journalist Ahmed Al-Sabahi recounts the effects of the intifada within Lebanese camps.
Lebanon’s Palestinian refugees followed the intensity of the daily struggles surrounding the occupation in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They witnessed from afar the arrests and confrontations in Bab Al-Amoud Square. They shared the suffering of the residents of Sheikh Jarrah, who are haunted by the threat of forced eviction from their homes, depriving them of the freedom of every alley and stone with which they grew up familiar.
The refugees in Lebanon know precisely what it means to be distanced from your family, home, and neighborhood. They are the ones who have been living the bitterness of loss daily for 73 years.
With the acceleration of developments in the city of Jerusalem, and the Jerusalemites – the Qudsi – valiantly confronting the attacks of settlers under the protection of the Israeli police, the Palestinian resistance entered the front line by firing rockets, and the demonstrations took place in the camps of Lebanon, but with a different texture.
The so-called ‘Sword of Jerusalem’ war raged for eleven days, throughout which time the refugees followed the unity of the Palestinian situation, as all of Palestine rose in the face of Israeli arrogance and succeeded in striking its cities and settlements, paralyzing them with a barrage of missiles.
Um Ashraf, a social activist from Burj al-Barajneh camp, says, “We were no less happy with the confrontation. We saw the Palestinian flag all over the world.”
While Hana Al-Salibi believes that “the dream of return, which never left us, has become closer than ever”. The young Muhammad Abdul Rahman says, “The aftermath of the battle will not be the same as before, since the resistance has proven its worth.”
In Chatila camp, activist Samer Anbar says, “I was surprised by this gift, as they did not take any account of the occupying Zionist. Yes, we have hope for liberation.”
Samer Arifa from Camp Al-Bared says, “We were surprised by the resistance’s response. The enemy’s calculations were wrong. This is the first time that the circle of confrontations has expanded to include all of Palestine, which confirms the unity of the Palestinian people and their historical identity. The resistance has given us hope.”
In the south, in Rashidieh camp – the closest camp to Palestine – in the small shop of Abu Youssef, the seventy-year-old man crosses the line by saying: “I don’t know if I believe what I see, or you will believe what I say, we felt that we were strong, we were happy with every missile burst. Our people rose in the areas occupied in 1948 – after when they were called the Arabs of Israel. Jerusalem destroyed all their plans, and the saying ‘the old people die, and the young forget’ has been proven wrong by the Palestinian youth.”
The harsh conditions that the Palestinians live in did not stop them from demonstrating in the camps. Indeed, they went further, and organized marches towards the border with Palestine – Palestinian and Lebanese youth responded to the call equally.
Hassan Badawiya says, “I felt that the return is close and that our suffering in the camp will end soon. We went to the border to renew our commitment to the right of return.”
Fadia Lubani says, “We are no longer Palestinians or Lebanese on the borders, but Arabs who are resisting. We felt that we entered Palestine, and we no longer see the wall. Muhammad Tahan was martyred and leads us in our return.”
Jerusalem struck the deal of the century and destroyed the concept of considering Jerusalem as the unified capital of Israel. Instead, it highlighted the Palestinians’ adherence to its symbolism until martyrdom.
The confrontations with the occupation in the 48 regions shocked the Israeli leaders and analysts because of its future repercussions on the so-called Israeli-Arab concept of coexistence.
The family projects were dropped, and Palestinians considered that the struggle in the 48 regions is limited to obtaining civil rights from Israeli institutions to show the Palestinian identity and the unity of identity interrelationship with Palestinian geography.