Palestinian Refugees Burn UN Flag, Urge Arab Summit to Isolate Israel
Palestinian demonstrators in Lebanon on Friday accused the United Nations of pro-Israeli bias, and urged an Arab summit in Cairo to isolate the Jewish state.
At the southern refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh, the largest in Lebanon, around 100 demonstrators burnt UN, US and Israeli flags and lashed out at the United Nations.
Abed Maqdah, secretary of the camp's civic committee, called UN Secretary General Kofi Annan an "agent in the service of the Jews".
Maqdah, a member of the pro-Syrian paramilitary group As-Saika, said "neither the General Assembly, nor the Security Council, nor other organizations of the UN have been able to protect the Palestinian people from the massacres perpetrated by the Israelis."
The camp's committee issued a statement calling on the Arab summit to be held Saturday and Sunday in Cairo to "take once and for all a clear and courageous position in favor of the Palestinian people."
Concretely, it called for breaking of diplomatic relations with Israel and an end to all normalization of relations with the Jewish state.
At another refugee camp near the southern city of Tyre, around 1,000 refugees called for the summit to support the creation of a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital.
In Beirut, a delegation of 200 prominent Palestinians and Lebanese delivered a letter to Arab League offices calling for Arab leaders to "break all links with Israel."
It called for a rejection of "American pressures" and for a "response to the aspirations of the Arab people and to bring an end to the aggression organized against our people by the Israelis."
Around 367,000 Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon -- AIN EL-HILWEH, Lebanon (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)