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Old 09-04-2007   #46
Rex Brynen
Council Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,599

Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
By global standards, very few Palestinian refugee camps are truly "squalid" by global standrads
Ugh, I need to learn to proofread.

Originally Posted by goesh View Post
Al-Ali has lived for nine years in the Ozo district of the refugee camp. Ain al-Hilweh is Arabic for "Sweet Spring," the waters of which once irrigated the orange groves surrounding the coastal city of Sidon, 20 miles south of Beirut. But today, the only running water is the raw sewage trickling down open drains. Barefoot children play in the filth outside Al-Ali's front door.
As I noted earlier, conditions in all of the camps in Lebanon are much worse than those in Syria, Jordan, and the West Bank. Until fairly recently, Palestinians (and often even the UN) were prohibited from taking building materials into the camps by the Lebanese army--again, out of fear of "tawtiin" (permanent resettlement). That policy has now been changed.

Ayn al-Hilwa is the largest camp in Lebanon (about 45,000), has particularly bad conditions, and appalling local security conditions: as with all camps (except now Nahr al-Barid) there is no Lebanese security presence in the camps, which instead is full of myriad armed factions, including various militant Islamist ones (notably Jund al-Sham). You'll find a camp profile here.

In addition to UNRWA statistics, the best source of information on Palestinian refugees is FAFO.

The very informative website of the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee (despite its name, a Lebanese government policy unit) is here. Full disclosure: I worked as a policy advisor for these folks this summer.
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