The fighting in Lebanon between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam (a radical Sunni Islamist group) has been going on since May 20. Today,
In Nahr el-Bared, heavy fighting continued as the army pounded suspected militant hideouts with artillery shells and tank fire.The fighters responded with machinegun fire and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the officials…
The army was making progress toward Fatah Islam positions, the officials said. Witnesses also reported seeing a few Lebanese flags hoisted on the roofs of destroyed buildings inside the camp where the army appeared to be in control…
The use of Katyusha rockets appears to be a new tactic by the militants to ease the military pressure and expand the battles outside the camp. The militants fired at least six Katyusha rockets Saturday and 19 rockets on Friday that crashed into villages neighboring the camp, slightly injuring two people and causing damage to property. — Ha’aretz
The Lebanese have directed huge amounts of firepower at the terrorists (imagine if Israel did this!) but they continue to resist.
Where did they get Katyushas and launchers? Who is supplying them? Who benefits from their activities? Most observers seem to believe that Syria is behind them, but even the US and Saudi Arabia have been accused of supporting them (as an anti-Hezbollah force). Members seem to be Saudis, Syrians, Lebanese, Palestinians and various jihadists who had fought in Iraq. They may or may not be linked with al-Qaeda, but they appear to share its ideology.
The Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are full of organizations like this, some more successful than others. There are more than 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon (overall, more than 4 million claim refugee status) and the locals don’t like them:
Lebanon barred Palestinians from 73 job categories including professions such as medicine, law and engineering. They are not allowed to own property. Unlike other foreigners in Lebanon, they are denied access to the Lebanese healthcare system. The Lebanese government refused to grant them work permits or permission to own land. — Wikipedia
The Arab nations as well as the Palestinian Fatah and Hamas groups continue to reject any solution to the refugee problem that is not a return to “their homes” in Israel. It would be ironic if the result of this policy is the destabilization of the host countries.