Heated debate on Palestinian disarmament at AUB
Special to The Daily Star
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Salah Salah of the Palestinian
rejected demands for disarming Palestinian
refugees before granting them full civil and
humanitarian rights at a heated debate at the
American University of Beirut Thursday.
arguing against Tony Nissi, the international
coordinator for the Committee on the
Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution
1559, in a debate organized by the Lebanese
Palestinian Youth Dialogue on Conflict
debate focused on the aspirations of Palestinian
refugees to attain civil and humanitarian
rights, the involvement of the Palestinians in
the Civil War and the role of Lebanon in
supporting Palestine and the refugees.
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are suffering
from political and humanitarian injustice that
no other population has endured," said Salah.
"Before granting these refugees their civil and
humanitarian rights, any talk on disarming the
camps is premature."
Palestinian official further added that
"Palestinian arms do not exist in the first
place which makes the demand to disarm the camps
explained that weapons are only present in Ain
al-Hilweh and Rashidieh camps for protection
against radical fundamentalist movements in
conflict with members of the Fatah movement.
Salah said the Palestinians
alone cannot be held responsible for the Civil
War in Lebanon.
the Israeli invasion, Palestinians fought in the
war along with Lebanese, and after 1982
Palestinians became victims of injustice and
mistreatment and a policy of revenge," he
the other hand, said that Palestinians deserve
to be treated as "first degree citizens and
should enjoy same rights the Arabs in Lebanon
enjoy," but argued that their possession of
weapons is an obstacle.
not want them to be able to create turbulence or
present a threat and their possession of weapons
enables them to do so," he said. "If they
disarm, I think Lebanon would then grant them
all their rights."
added Lebanon has always supported the
Palestinian cause, but Palestinian actions and
decisions have hindered this cause.
supported their cause from the beginning," he
remarked. "But it was the Palestinians who were
against it. We are committed to defend and
protect them but we will only do so when they
Separately, Culture Minister Tarek Mitri met
with a delegation from the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine headed by Ali Faysal,
and discussed recent developments in the
Occupied Territories and the refugees' situation
Lebanese officials to deal with the Palestinian
file in its political, security and humanitarian
aspects from one perspective," said Faysal.