Israeli army raids West Bank Palestinian camp after soldier death

Israeli troops take position as they clash with Palestinian youth in the Amari refugee camp near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank after they stormed the camp on Monday, May 28. (AFP)
Updated 28 May 2018
0

Israeli army raids West Bank Palestinian camp after soldier death

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: The Israeli army raided a Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank Monday, AFP journalists said, in an apparent hunt for suspects in the killing of a soldier.
Dozens of Israeli troops entered the Amari Refugee Camp in Ramallah in the early hours of Monday, closing off all the entrances, AFP journalists said.
At least 13 Palestinians were lightly or moderately injured during the raid as clashes broke out, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, with soldiers firing tear gas and bullets.
Residents said a number of Palestinians were arrested, though there was no immediate confirmation or statement from the army.
Israeli forces later withdrew from the camp.
It came days after an Israeli soldier was killed during a raid inside the camp.
Sergeant Ronen Lubarsky, 20, of the Duvdevan special forces unit, was struck on the head by a stone block thrown during an arrest raid Thursday and died early Saturday.
Israeli media said the block was a granite slab dropped from a third-floor window.
Those responsible were not arrested at the time.
Amari is located inside Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority, in an area theoretically under the full control of the Palestinian government.
Israeli forces regularly carry out night raids in Palestinian-governed parts of the West Bank to arrest suspects they accuse of militant activities against Israel.
Amari, home to around 6,000 Palestinians according to the UN, is a regular flashpoint where Israeli raids have sparked fierce clashes in the past.


Jumblatt expresses concern over torture of Syrian refugees

Syrian children are pictured at a refugee camp in the village of Mhammara in the northern Lebanese Akkar region on March 9, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 19 March 2019
0

Jumblatt expresses concern over torture of Syrian refugees

  • UN official stresses ‘urgent need to ensure’ their ‘safe, voluntary and dignified return’
  • Some 215,000 Syrian students are currently enrolled in Lebanon's schools 

BEIRUT: Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt has expressed concern about reports that Syrian refugees returning to their country from Lebanon face torture and murder.

This coincides with a debate in Lebanon about whether Syrian refugees should return without waiting for a political solution to the conflict in their country. 

UN Special Coordinator Jan Kubis stressed after meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday the “urgent need to ensure the safe, voluntary and dignified return of Syrian refugees home, according to international humanitarian norms.” 

Kubis added: “The UN and the humanitarian community will continue to facilitate these returns as much as possible. Another very important message was also to support the host communities here in Lebanon.”

Mireille Girard, representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), on Monday said: “The reconstruction process in Syria may not be enough to attract refugees to return. We are working to identify the reasons that will help them to return.”

She added: “The arrival of aid to the refugees is an element of trust that helps them to return. Their dignity and peaceful living must be ensured.”

Social Affairs Minister Richard Kouyoumdjian said the Lebanese General Security “issued lists containing the names of refugees wishing to return to their homes, but the Syrian regime accepted only about 20 percent of them.”

He added: “The solution is to call on the international community to put pressure on Russia, so that Moscow can exert pressure on (Syrian President) Bashar Assad’s regime to show goodwill and invite Syrian refugees to return to their land without conditions, procedures, obstacles and laws that steal property and land from them.”

Lebanese Education Minister Akram Chehayeb said: “The problem is not reconstruction and infrastructure, nor the economic and social situation. The main obstacle is the climate of fear and injustice in Syria.”

He added: “There are 215,000 Syrian students enrolled in public education in Lebanon, 60,000 in private education, and there are informal education programs for those who have not yet attended school to accommodate all children under the age of 18.” 

Chehayeb said: “As long as the displacement crisis continues, and as long as the (Assad) regime’s decision to prevent the (refugees’) return stands … work must continue to absorb the children of displaced Syrians who are outside education to protect Lebanon today and Syria in the future.”