Palestinian guerrilla fighters entrenched in the Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp near Beirut, in Lebanon, are still withstanding the heavy siege mounted by right wing forces is now in its fourth week.
GV Tel al-Zaatar Palestinian camp on outskirts of Beirut
SV Truck with cannon gun reversing down street, stops alongside building and opens fire onto camp
GV PAN OVER Camp AND BACK TO Gunman firing and truck pulling out
LV Building n fire (with gunfire in background)
CU Soldier in doorway (gunfire continues)
LV People salvaging goods and placing them on top of car
SV Young Falangists firing from behind barricade
SV Falangists loading shells and preparing gun (2 shots)
SV Young boy running across road to building
LV Tank firing towards camp (2 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT FROM Sign "Bebe s'amuse - garderie et jardin d'enfants" TO SHOW Broken windows
GV Armoured car followed by lorry carrying troops through town
GV Cars jamming streets around Tel al-Zaatar
Arab diplomatic sources have been quoted as saying the Soviet Union has threatened to stop arms supplies to Syria unless it withdraws its forces from Lebanon. There have also been several meetings in Beirut between the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Mr. Yasser Arafat, and the Soviet Ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. Alexander Soldatov. The Syrian Foreign Minister Mr. Abdel Halim Khaddam, has gone to Moscow for talks.
Despite the earlier insistence by Palestinian leaders for a complete Syrian withdrawal, they have held talks with the Libyan Premier, Major Abdel Salam Jalloud, who has bene crying to mediate between the warring Syrians and Palestinians.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Palestinian guerrilla fighters entrenched in the Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp near Beirut, in Lebanon, are still withstanding the heavy siege mounted by right wing forces is now in its fourth week.
SYNOPSIS: Estimates of the numbers inside the Tel al-Zaatar camp range up to about ten thousand men, women and children. Trained Palestinian guerrilla fighters inside the camp are said to number several hundred and the death toll inside the camp is estimated to be now over 11,000. Every day from positions around the camp, the right wing attackers who far outnumber the defenders, pour in unrelenting fire.
When the attack was mounted, right-wing forces expected the camp to fall within two weeks. One reason the siege has lasted so long is said to be the amount of underground fortification carried out over the years by the Palestinians. Arms, food and ammunition to last for a year are said to have been moved into the camp. The camp originally held about 40,000 Palestinian refugees and covered a vast area. Now it has been reduced to a hard-defended core of about one hundred thousand square metres (yards).
The British and American embassies have warned their nationals to leave Lebanon. Latest reports say there are fears of epidemics breaking out as health services run down .The wide no man's land around Tel al-Zaatar is constantly changing in shape and Palestine Radio claimed that the day before this film was shot, Palestinian defenders re-took three positions.
Youth outside the camp is killing youth inside.
Everybody is affected. For the Christian Lebanese, the reduction of Tel al-Zaatar is important because it is the last alien outpost in their territory. However the right wing forces are believed to be reluctant to finish off the camp because they fear accusations of butchery and the resultant political disadvantage. The palestinians say there'll be no talk of peace until Syrian forces withdraw from Lebanon.