Tension eased in Beirut over the weekend (11-12 May) as fighting in Lebanon between government troops and Palestinian commandos has been halted under mutual assurance that a ceasefire will be observed.
GV Tell el Zaatar camp with smoke rising in instance
GV Hawker Hunter jet flies overhead firing rockets
GV Buildings under attack
GV Jet flies overhead
GV Building occupied by commandos firing at aircraft
GV PAN People look on as raid continues
TRAVEL SHOT PAST building showing shell holes and other damage (4 shots)
SV Chamber of Commerce sign and wreckage outside building (3 shots)
SV Red Cross worker looks for casualties
SV PAN Wrecked cafe (2 shots)
SV Other and family of Nada security gathered around graveside during funeral ceremony (2 shots)
GV PAN DOWN Mosque to cars along street during curfew relaxation (2 shots)
SV People window shopping during curfew relaxation, people shopping
GV Crowds and cars blocking street (2 shots)
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Background: Tension eased in Beirut over the weekend (11-12 May) as fighting in Lebanon between government troops and Palestinian commandos has been halted under mutual assurance that a ceasefire will be observed.
Lebanese officials expressed optimism on Saturday (12 May) that an agreement could be reached between authorities and the Palestine Resistance Movement which would resolve all outstanding problems.
No incidents were reported in Beirut on Sunday (13 May), and the capital's airport was opened for the first time since a state of emergency was declared in Lebanon last Tuesday (8 May).
Lebanon's President Suleiman Franjieh, was reported to have met with outgoing Prime Minister, Amin Al-Hafez, and religious leaders on Sunday in an effort to improve upon the current situation and restore an atmosphere of confidence in the country. At the same time, commando representatives had been sent out to urge total discipline and full observance of the 8 May ceasefire by guerrilla groups throughout the country.
Civilian casualties in the II-day old crisis have not yet been fully assessed. But United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) estimated on Saturday that about 50 registered civilian Palestinian refugees have been killed since fighting broke out on 2 May. Preliminary reports showed that another 130 people had been wounded. These casualties, however, did not include Lebanese civilians, unregistered "squatter" refugees or commandos.
Military casualties officially announced since the start of fighting total at least 50 dead and 180 wounded.
The refugee loses were almost all in the Beirut area, where about 25,000 Palestinians live in six camps.
With the re-opening of Beirut's airport, Visnews has been able to get film of recent fighting in the Lebanon. Shot between II may, the film shows the capital and neighbouring Palestinian refuges camps during and after the fighting.
SYNOPSIS: Among those killed last week was Mrs. Nada Yashuriti, a member of the Palestinian women's federation. She was killed as she returned form the Presidential Palace on May 2nd, where she had been trying to mediate between the two opposing sides.
Ever since fighting broke out, a curfew was imposed on Beirut and five other main towns and suburbs. It was lifted for the first time for nine hours on the morning and afternoon of May 11th. Life almost became normal in Beirut on that day.
Crowds thronged the streets in warm sunshine, shopping, strolling and stopping to chat about their experiences.
The downtown traffic was back again to its normal frantic peace.
Lebanese officials have expressed optimism that an agreement could be reached between the government and Palestinian commandos this week, which would resolve all outstanding problems.