Palestinian Refugees Rally in Southern Lebanon, Including Armed Fighters
A thousand Palestinians, some 100 of them armed, rallied Friday at this refugee camp in southern Lebanon in support of the uprising against Israel, an AFP correspondent witnessed.
Hundreds left Friday prayers at the seven mosques in the camp -- the largest in Lebanon with its 65,000 inhabitants -- and converged on the local football stadium.
They were accompanied by dozens of Islamic resistance fighters from the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Aasbat al-Ansar groups.
"We will continue the armed struggle until we recover all the rights of the Palestinian people," a representative of the Islamic Jihad in the camp, Abu Imad Rifai, told the crowd.
The fighters in the crowd were dressed in battle fatigues and armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, rocket launchers and sniper rifles.
Some of them wore cardboard boxes incribed with the word "dynamite" strapped to their backs, indicating their willingness to carry out suicide missions.
A suicide bomber of the Islamic Jihad, which strongly opposes the peace process, blew himself up Thursday attacking an Israeli army post in the Gaza Strip, slightly wounding a soldier.
The protestors burned effigies of US President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, as well as flags of both countries.
Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops Friday in the northern West Bank, bringing to 142 the number of people killed -- most of them Arab -- since violent confrontations flared throughout the Palestinian territories a month ago. AIN EL-HELWEH (AFP)
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