Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The end of the Cairo Agreement?

After the victory over Fatah al-Islam, premier Siniora stated that the Nahr al-Bared camp will be rebuild and that the camp would be placed under the authority of the state and "only the Lebanese state”.

Now, would that mean Siniora single-handedly threw out the 1969 Cairo Agreement? This agreement between the PLO and the Lebanese government gave the Palestinians jurisdiction in their own camps. Up until then, the Palestinian camps were placed under control of the Lebanese government.

It was only a sideline in his long speech, but why did Siniora make this statement? Does the Lebanese government really want to rule again in the Palestinian camps and does it think the Palestinians wouldn’t object to this?

Given the various rumors of Al Qaeda inspired splinter cells in the various camps, such a statement would be a great recruitment tool for them as it would affirm their impression of Siniora as a defender of American interests. They could easily argue that he is seizing the opportunity to reduce the sovereignty of the Palestinians.

Such feelings could quickly stir up anti-Lebanon emotions that are already highly present in the camps. Sure, the Lebanese army went into the Nahr al-Bared camp, but only after permission from the Palestinian camp commander. Trying to take “advantage” of this by simply taking over authority in Nahr al-Bared and possibly in all camps later on, could be a costly mistake, one that is best avoided at a crucial time like this.


R said...

I disagree Riemer, the camps have been a haven for smuggling, outlaws and even small armies of fundamentalist madmen as we recently saw. Under the "control" of the PLO, these things fester and grow and unless the government directly controls the camps then we will see a repeat performance of the Nahr el-Bared fiasco in the future.
Unfortunately, in a country like Lebanon there are no "perfect" times. In other words, one can always use phrases like "In times like these, it is best to avoid...", but the fact of the matter is that while we may avoid and put off certain costly tasks, the cost of not doing them accumulates. In the case of Nahr il-bared the almost final price that we paid was the lives of over 150 soldiers, tens of civilians, and the residences and livelihoods of 30,000 poverty stricken Palestinians and Lebanese, not to mention the cost of rebuilding. This could all have been avoided had the camps been under the control of the Lebanese state, and events like this will repeat in one form or another in some other camp unless the state assumes its responsibilities, whether it likes it or not...

JoseyWales said...

Now, would that mean Siniora single-handedly threw out the 1969 Cairo Agreement?

No Riemer. De jure, the piece of crap agreement, that should have been trashed on day-one, was legally rejected by parliament in 1987 (or 89?) but the rejection was never acted upon.

De facto, the agreement was torn by Fatah Islam (and the ineffective camp authorities) when Absi's people tortured and slaughtered 27 army guys. Even stupid we-won't-shoot-at-anyone frigging Saniora had no choice any more.

The least one can hope for now, from this new precedent, is that the (other) camp Palestinians police themselves better and stay the fuck out of Lebanese matters.

The PA, Fatah, Abbas etc all understood that Lebanon had had it with their crap and that's why they "allowed" the army to go after Bared.

Hostility? So what? The Lebanese can be hostile to one another. Camp life sucks and these guys are hostile to the whole planet. Many Lebanese are hostile toward them too. We each have our problems.

However, we are (supposedly) in our HOME, they are not.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why nobody wants to admit that Fatah Islam had nothing to do with the Palestinians, except the fact that they were operating from a Palestinian camp. LEBANON WAKE UP: the MAJORITY of the Fatah al Islam fighters that had been arrested were LEBANESE, NOT PALESTINIAN.

R said...


it doesnt matter if they were lebanese, palestinian or dutch. The point is that they were operating from a camp that was under the authority of the palestinians...

that is what needs to stop... Lebanese land, non-governmental sovereignty...