In Lebanon the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), which gave free medical care to the victims of recent fighting in Beirut has been celebrating its tenth anniversary.
In Lebanon the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), which gave free medical care to the victims of recent fighting in Beirut has been celebrating its tenth anniversary. On Tuesday (26 December) the President of the PRCS, Dr Fathi Arafat, addressed a rally marking the occasion.
SYNOPSIS: The Arab University in Beirut. Dr Arafat is the brother of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat and figured prominently in the work done by the Red Crescent Society during the Lebanese Civil War. The Society has hospitals in Beirut and refugee camps throughout Lebanon. Like the "Red Cross" it has dispensed aid to both sides in the recent fighting. Its hospitals are equipped with money from Europe and wealthy Arab oil-producing states. Some hospitals in East Beirut were damaged during fighting in October.
Palestinian folk dancing by local children followed Dr Arafat's speech.
Apart from some light shelling on Christmas Day (25 December), Beirut has been calm in recent weeks, and schools are re-opening. The replacement of Syrian members of the Arab peacekeeping force with units from Saudi Arabia had helped to ease tension in the city.
Although the main aim of the Red Crescent Society is humanitarian, it also serves another purpose - it promotes support for the Palestinian cause.