News / Middle East

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Lebanese and Palestinians hold up placards during a protest against the war in Gaza, in Beirut, Lebanon, July 21, 2014.
Lebanese and Palestinians hold up placards during a protest against the war in Gaza, in Beirut, Lebanon, July 21, 2014.

Lebanon’s normally highly divisive television stations have joined together to express their support for the Palestinian cause in Gaza by airing a joint newscast entitled, “Palestine, you are not alone.”

The highly emotive half-an-hour program on Monday morning by the eight major local television outlets controlled by different antagonistic sects and political groups - including Shi'ite Hezbollah and its Sunni opponent the Future Movement - contained images of Israeli airstrikes, Palestinian mothers mourning over the bodies of their children, and Gaza homes pounded into rubble.

The joint newscast - billed as the Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip - began and concluded with a poem by the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.

Each station contributed its own report with all airing the final bulletins exploring different aspects of the conflict raging in Gaza.

“It is simply an attempt to express, through our visual media channels, the Lebanese people’s solidarity with the people of Gaza, who live under a cruel siege and whose innocent civilians are being killed every day,” said Talal Salman, editor of the Lebanon’s As-Safir newspaper, who proposed the joint broadcast.

The broadcast illustrates the breadth of opposition in Lebanon to Israel’s offensive in the Gaza, analysts say.

Muted disapproval

Still, public displays of support for Hamas or disapproval of Israel appear more muted than in 2009, the last time Israel launched a major offensive in the Gaza in retaliation for Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel.

A Lebanese student from the American university in Beirut holds a placard during a protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, in Beirut, July 14, 2014.A Lebanese student from the American university in Beirut holds a placard during a protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, in Beirut, July 14, 2014.
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A Lebanese student from the American university in Beirut holds a placard during a protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, in Beirut, July 14, 2014.
A Lebanese student from the American university in Beirut holds a placard during a protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, in Beirut, July 14, 2014.

Small crowds of placard-waving protesters rallied at demonstrations Tuesday across Lebanon condemning the Israeli offensive. The low attendance reflects the high level of anxiety among Lebanese that the conflict raging to their south could draw Lebanon in and trigger Hezbollah’s entry into the fray and a repeat of the Shi'ite movement’s 2006 war with Israel.

The Lebanese are already suffering spillover from the civil war raging in next-door Syria with suicide bombings by jihadists and episodic but intense violence in the northern city of Tripoli.

The deepest support for Gaza in Lebanon is on display in the dozen camps housing 400,000 Palestinians. The camps were set up for Palestinian refugees fleeing the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Blood drive

At the largest, Ain al-Hilweh near the southern city of Sidon, activists have launched a blood drive for Gaza and a campaign to collect money.

The campaign is supported also by officials from Fatah, the faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, that is a rival to Hamas. Blood donations from the camp are being given to the International Committee of the Red Cross for onward delivery.

“The least we can do is donate blood to our families and the people in Gaza,” Fouad Othman of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine told local reporters.

Camp residents have been rallying in protests and large screens have been erected in the camp and in the evening play pro-Hamas videos and bulletins showing Israeli strikes on Gaza.

Military parade
 

Two Lebanese men carry a fake missile to protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, as they take part in a sit-in, in front the United Nations headquarters, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, July 13, 2014.Two Lebanese men carry a fake missile to protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, as they take part in a sit-in, in front the United Nations headquarters, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, July 13, 2014.
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Two Lebanese men carry a fake missile to protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, as they take part in a sit-in, in front the United Nations headquarters, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, July 13, 2014.
Two Lebanese men carry a fake missile to protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, as they take part in a sit-in, in front the United Nations headquarters, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, July 13, 2014.

Last week, one Palestinian faction organized a military parade in the camp displaying replicas of the homemade rockets Hamas has been firing at Israel.

Nidal Othman, a Palestinian activist, said the parade was a display of the Palestinians’ “legendary resilience.” He condemned what he sees as muted support across the Arab world for Hamas.

“It is this legendary resilience that Israel is unable to break with the power of aerial weapons and all its destructive and criminal weapons,” he said.

Lebanese authorities are keen to make sure support for Gaza is limited just to symbolism.  So too is Hezbollah, which has offered strong rhetorical support for Hamas but appears reluctant to join in and fight Israel.

Sporadic rocket attacks

Lebanese security forces are mounting operations to try to stop militants firing sporadic rockets from southern Lebanon into Israel and on Monday they arrested the suspected ringleader behind some rocket attacks earlier this month.

Pro-Gaza militants launched salvoes of rockets from Lebanese territory toward Israel on several occasions last week. In turn Israel launched retaliatory shelling of Lebanese villages along the border.

Lebanese authorities fear rising escalation of the exchanges.

A week after Israel launched airstrikes on Hamas positions in Gaza, Lebanon filed a complaint with the United Nations Security Council over Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace.

Among them was a 21-155-millimeter artillery bombardment on July 11 on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese town of Kfarshouba and a 31-shell salvo on July 14 on the villages of al-Qlayleh and al-Maaliyeh.

In a statement the Lebanese government said: “The firing of rockets by some individuals or by unorganized or marginal groups does not serve the interest of Lebanon or of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.”

It warned that rocket attacks launched from Lebanon give Israel excuses to retaliate.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: josep from: California
July 26, 2014 3:53 PM
yeah, but still no country for you. =)

by: John
July 23, 2014 11:14 AM
The US taxpayer has been supporting the Palestinians, and Israelis, for over 60 years. The US is in effect fighting a war against itself. This is absurd. The only rational policy is to abandon the Palestinians, the Israelis, and indeed the whole Middle East.

The money wasted on aid and wars can be used to build synthetic oil plants. Racial Profiling (I know Islam is a religion not a race, but that's what they insist on calling it) will deal with Muslim terrorists coming to America. Once the US stops importing foreign terrorists and is independent of foreign oil, it can ignore the Middle East entirely.

by: Andrea Christos from: Philadelphia
July 23, 2014 8:12 AM
The Israeli's intend to commit genocide of the defenseless Palestinians so that they can control the area which is currently Palestine. Remember that oil has been discovered off the coast of palestine and the Israeli's intend to own it.

by: Jon Jones
July 23, 2014 1:18 AM
What the press fails to mention is that the Palestinians are not welcome in Jordan syria lebanon or any other Arab country. Their arab brothers want nothing to do with them, their arab brothers would rather them languish in gaza and encourage them to prepare for war. the Gazans use their women and children as human shields, and the arab world use the palestinians as a propagando tool against Israel. In both cases it is arabs throwing arabs under the bus, what a fine group of people these arabs are.
In Response

by: Anonymous
August 09, 2014 1:47 AM
actually Lebanon has a refugee camp for palestinians to live so your facts are false!
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 23, 2014 11:25 AM
MAKE PEACE NOT WAR
In Response

by: Tim from: Canada
July 23, 2014 4:28 AM
how ignorant of you to think like that. there are thousands of palestanians living all over the arab world. and shows your ignorance to state that they use their women and children as human shields. you have been fed lies on the news and you have been munching away, without looking what is being put on your plate. gaza is a small area and densly populated, any rocket would ensure casualties. and if you have been following the news then you know how many rockets israel has sent so far. if you are not moved by the innocent people that are losing their lives among them a great number of children then you do not poses a human heart.

by: Michael from: America
July 22, 2014 1:45 PM
What a shocker. The people in the picture supporting the Palestinians are too dumb to spell Israel correctly. But them being dumb wasnt a question, as they are supporting the Palestinians instead of the Israelis .
In Response

by: FRENDLY from: TORONTO
July 23, 2014 11:28 AM
STOP SHOOTING ROCKETS AT INNOCENT CIVILIANS
In Response

by: Mary from: New Zealand
July 23, 2014 6:47 AM
Michael clearly how thick you are says something about who's dumb.
In Response

by: Sarah from: America
July 22, 2014 4:03 PM
Im pretty sure it's meant to be written Is Real as a play on words for Israel. Seems that went right over your head.

by: george k from: Florida
July 22, 2014 12:15 PM
Sometimes people who are targeted for extermination can behave in unpredictable ways, after all, were these 20,000 missiles (and counting), many sent courtesy of the peace lovers in Iran, for commercial flights? We're the fortified concrete tunnels into a sovereign state (in lieu of building schools and parks) "trade routes"? The mothers wail in anguish: but does anyone remember when they were brought tea and cookies – often courtesy of Saddam Hussein – when their valiant sons blew up crowded commuter buss in Tel Aviv, with pregnant women and toddlers also on board?

Does the population not pray, even from the start of this, when there was a chance to turn back, that their missiles will hit the densely crowded Israeli cities and buildings? And let's not even mention Sunni on Shia violence or Boko Haram violence against everyone and anyone who is not Muslim, or Isis v almost everyone; or Syrian barrel bombs; lets just focus on the anguish of the cynics who are shocked SHOCKED to see that a

Life loving people would dare to bomb wherever they out their own weapons, while waiting for the go signal on extermination day. Sorry to not stand still while you aim. From 1948 to the present: Israel's existence is the best proof of the existence of Allah – but I don't think the same can be said for the beheading, barrel bombs and such.

by: Whisky13 from: Texas
July 22, 2014 11:49 AM
the arabs hate jews even while they murder each other. they allow themselves to be governed by terrorists and lob rockets indiscriminately at israel and claim to be victims. you fools are victims by choice. or maybe these folks are simply evil or at the very least fools.
In Response

by: FRENDLY from: TORONTO
July 23, 2014 11:35 AM
PEACE WILL COME WHEN JEWS MUSLIMS AND ALL NATIONS RESPECT AND PRAY TOGETHER HAR HABAYIT, THE HOME OF JEWISH HERITAGE

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