After a three-week siege, the strategic Palestinian camp Tel Al-Zaatar is soon expected to fall.?
SV Rightist gunmen shooting from armoured vehicles PAN TO other gunmen firing
GV: Shellshot buildings
GV: Gunmen on armoured vehicle
SV: Devastated buildings
GV: Tank moving into position backed up by gunmen and armoured vehicle (3 shots)
GV: damaged buildings
SV: Gunmen firing from building
GV: Soldiers firing from armoured vehicle as other soldiers take over cover behind bricks (2 shots)
CU: Soldier speaking in English
GV: Tanks and armoured vehicles along road (2 shots)
GV: Gunmen firing with rifles (2 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 9: RIGHTIST SOLDIER: "We gave them this part of land, the thing is because they had no houses. And then they fortified it and then turned against us. That's why we're attacking them."
The Voice of Palestine Radio reported on Monday (12 July) that Syrian and right-wing forces were on the offensive near the northern left-wing stronghold of Tripoli. It said Tripoli had been shelled since dawn, with scores of houses destroyed. Right-wing Christian forces, allegedly supported by Syrian artillery, claimed to have captured Batroumine, five miles south east of Tripoli, the 17th leftist town to fall in a week's offensive.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: After a three-week siege, the strategic Palestinian camp Tel Al-Zaatar is soon expected to fall. But on Monday (12 July) the Palestinians were holding out against a concentrated attack by rightist troops.
SYNOPSIS: Inside the camp Palestinians at least several hundred fighters and a handful of civilians, are withstanding the attack by thousands of well-armed right-wingers. The rightists have besieged the camp for over three weeks. The Palestinians have lost a lot of ground and now they're defending a few acres of tin-roofed, huts. The battle has already left at least a thousand dead and injured.
The right-wingers have moved tanks into positions overlooking the Palestinian stronghold. Every day they pour heavy artillery and machine gun fire onto the camp from four sides. The Palestinians have held out for so long because they were well prepared. Over the years they built a fortress underground and stocked it with food, arms and ammunition, enough to last a year. They say this was in case of an Israeli air attack. But the camp's defenders are now living in those shelters and fighting not Israelis but Lebanese. The rightists see the Palestinians as guests who have now worn out their welcome.
The Palestinians see it differently. They say the rightists are part of a plot to wipe them out and that they're only defending themselves. Almost every day the right-wing radio station claims that Tel Al-Zaatar is finished militarily. But no while flags have appeared in the camp yet. The Palestinians are still shooting and the rightists are outside shooting back.