Palestinian Refugee Camps Celebrate Shebaa Retaliation

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A resident of Burj al-Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp erects new Palestinian flags above the camp's entrance. Al-Akhbar/Haitham Moussawi

By: Qassem Qassem

Published Friday, January 30, 2015

The “beautiful era” is back, the era of qualitative resistance operations against the Israeli enemy. “Abu Ali” could not contain his joy. He distributed cups of juice to pedestrians, as he does every time an operation is carried out in the Palestinian interior. Over the past 10 days, residents of the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp had eagerly waited for Hezbollah’s response to the Quneitra operation. As soon as news about the Shebaa attack started to make the rounds, shots of jubilation were fired into the air. A supporter of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) says: “The body of the resistance is one, from Beirut to Gaza.”

The camp’s alleys are lined with pictures of martyrs from the recent war in Gaza, and others of the perpetrators of the stabbing attacks in Jerusalem. These replaced pictures of Palestinians who were killed in the war in Syria, which indicates a change in the general mood of the camp. Interest in news about Syrian affairs has declined, and the attention has re-shifted to Palestine, most recently the occupied Golan Heights.

The camp’s Lebanese neighbors also set up makeshift posts on the road to the airport, and distributed sweets in celebration of the resistance’s “sincere promise.”

In Burj al-Barajneh as well, sweets were distributed in celebration, and shots were fired in jubilation. As soon as it was announced that a “security incident” took place in northern occupied Palestine, the residents of the camp gathered around television screens. Inaccurate news about the operation started to break. After reports of the destruction of Israeli tanks, the residents gathering around television screens started to ask about the number of Israeli deaths. “15 have been reported dead,” someone says enthusiastically. “Oh God, may this number increase with your blessing,” adds another.

Some curious pedestrians entered stores from which voices of international correspondents blared. They stood for hours in front of the television screens, and bought anything to be able to stay longer in the stores. Palestinians have gotten used to this “behavior.” In situations like this, cafes and shops turn into gathering points to follow and analyze the news coming from Palestine. This is how the camp’s residents followed the news during the 50-day war in Gaza, as well as the stabbings and hit-and-runs carried out by residents of Jerusalem and Hebron against Israeli settlers.

As in Beirut, residents of the Beddawi camp in northern Lebanon fired celebratory shots in the air after hearing news about the operation. The Palestinian resistance factions of Hamas also blessed and praised the Hezbollah operation.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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