Refugees in Lebanon Donate Blood to Palestinian Victims
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon started Monday a campaign to donate 3,000 units of blood for the growing number of casualties among Palestinians engaged in clashes with the Israeli army.
Some 500 refugees from camps near this southern port city gathered in front of the office of the International Committee for the Red Cross to ask the organization to transport the blood units to the Palestinian territories.
"We call on the ICRC to transport the 3,000 units of blood we are gathering in a campaign of solidarity across all the camps to help the wounded in Palestine," they said in a statement delivered to the ICRC.
"We hope that you will help ease the ordeal of our families ... who are subject to the ugliest massacres on the hands of the Israeli army," it said.
Clinics at the Palestinian camps at the outskirts of this port city started to receive refugees who want to donate blood, according to an AFP correspondent on site.
Another batch of 300 Palestinian refugees held a sit in front of the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Forces in southern Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the coastal border town of Naqoura.
Men, women and children carried banners saying: "Jerusalem is ours and we will not give it up for the Zionists," and "the liberation of Jerusalem has started."
The protestors handed a UNIFIL officer a memorandum addressed to UN chief Kofi Annan and which denounced the "worst kind of violence that our people are being subjected to at the hands of the victims of the Nazis."
At the Mieh camp on a hilltop overlooking the southern port city of Sidon, hundreds of school students staged a demonstration at the entrance of the shantytown.
The students, aged between five and 16 and wearing their uniforms and carrying their school bags, waved Palestinian flags and pictures of Jerusalem and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
A group of boys, wearing black headbands printed with: "We will not forget you, Palestine," burned tires sending billows of black smoke into the sky.
Since Saturday, Palestinian refugees have been holding protests to denounce the Israeli "massacres" of Palestinians while calling for carrying arms to "liberate" Jerusalem and ceasing peace talks with Israel.
More than 30 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in clashes with Israeli troops since Thursday in violence triggered when Israeli right-wing opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited east Jerusalem's Haram al-Sharif.
The site known as the Noble Sanctuary to the Arabs is called Temple Mount by the Jews who like the Muslims consider it a key religious shrine.
About 367,000 Palestinians live in Lebanon, half of them in 12 refugee camps scattered across the country. They or their forebears were forced to flee their homes after the creation of Israel in 1948 -- TYRE, Lebanon(AFP)
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