Palestinian commandos and their Lebanese left-wing allies were regrouping on Thursday (30 September) after being driven from strategic mountain strong-holds after a 36 hour battle with Syrian forces east of Beirut.
Palestinian commandos and their Lebanese left-wing allies were regrouping on Thursday (30 September) after being driven from strategic mountain strong-holds after a 36 hour battle with Syrian forces east of Beirut. The Voice of Palestine Radio reported that Palestine and left-wing forces had withdrawn from the towns of Mtein and Aintoura which control the Beirut to Damascus road, and the direct links between Eastern Lebanon and the right-wingers' provisional capital of Jounieh on the Mediterranean.
SYNOPSIS: The port of Jounieh is important not only to the right-wingers. The International Red Cross is currently using it to ship in relief supplies for refugees on both sides. French Ambassador. Hubert Argo, recently watched as supplies were unloaded from a ship chartered by the Red Cross. Jounieh is also the right-wingers chief doorway to the outside world. If they have the money, they can easily book a passage to Larnaca.
In the Muslim-held territories, the port of Sidon offers similar facilities to the left-wingers and Palestinians. From Sidon they can take a boat to Cyprus of Egypt. This activity at both ports is an indication of how a new pattern of life is asserting itself on the now effectively partitioned country. But few Lebanese believe life will be as it was before the civil war.
Outside the strong-holds -- whether right-wing or left-wing -- the dangers still exist, and to travel anywhere is risky. The main sufferers are of course the refugees. The families housed in this school come from Muslim areas which were over-run by right-winger forces. Most of them had to leave their homes in such haste, the possessions they brought with them are minimal.
Many of the families are without either money or even their menfolk who could try to earn enough to live on. so they depend almost entirely on the food and supplies provided by relief agencies and local people. Most of the living accommodation is temporary, and there will be serious problems when the winter starts. But at least this ramshackle bakers, set up by Fatah, provides a daily source of bread.
At the Lebanese border with Israel, those refugees fortunate enough to get themselves there, can receive medical treatment by crossing the border into Israel. The Israelis have set up a field hospital there.