According to a confidential technical report to the Lebanese government on the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared camp seen by Sursock, the Palestinian camp will be rebuilt on a new model.
Out go the tight alleys and close quarter community housing, and in comes European style housing blocs separated by wide roads.
There are two elements to this “new model camp” that should be noted.
The first is that wide roads provide better entry for armoured patrols and thus leaving the Palestinian less able to defend their areas. The Humvees supplied recently by the US would fulfill this task.
Alongside the new style housing, the announcement that the Lebanese army will be running “security” in the new camp.This takes us back to the 1950s and 1960s when Palestinians lived in fear of the internal security services known as Deuxieme Bureau.
These security forces were driven out of the camps in 1969 during a mass uprising. The deal that allowed Palestinians to run their own affairs was concluded that year in Cairo—known as the Cairo Accords (for more on this see Tripoli 1969).
Over the past few years the US and France have sponsored UN resolutions demanding the Lebanese government “disarm all militias” (apart from government approved militias, of course).
Nahr el-Bared was established in 1949 by the Red Cross to rehouse Palestinian refugees who suffered a terrible winter in the Bekaa Valley and the suburbs of Tripoli.
Lying 16 kilometers north of Tripoli and spread over 20 square kilometers, the camp quickly established itself as an important trading hub on the road to Syria. Over the years mini suburbs of wealthier refugees grew around the old camp (the "new camp").
The word is that Bared was an important post in the smuggling route to Syria, with an extensive black market that supplied the surrounding areas (“Black market” can be read as any business not under the control of one of the major Lebanese families).
The camp derived most of its wealth from its gold market and small workshops. The Bared refugees were among the wealthiest (relative wealth that is) of Palestinians in Lebanon.
All of that is now gone:
The latest tally of damage presents a bleak picture. The total bill comes in at $221 million.
The three month siege destroyed 60 percent of the old camp and 40 percent of the new camp. The repair bill is estimated at between $155 million to $180 million.
6,000 residential and commercial units were damaged or destroyed, with the “structural integrity” of the surviving buildings classified as “a risk”. Included in this is a large number of small workshops an single family artisans (many homes doubled as workshops).
The camp lost 3 hospitals, 4 clinics and 15 primary schools (excluding the ones inside the UN compound).
Also lost were mosques, community centers and the offices of associations.
Infrastructure services like water supplies, electricity and telecoms were also destroyed with extensive gorund water polution. Roads have been ruined by heavy military equipment.
Over $14 million in personal property was lost.
The health and psychological damage is difficult to quantify, however the tally of dead stands at around 400, with over 1,000 seriously injured or disabled as a result of the siege.
The main thrust of the report is a mini “Marshall plan” to revive a very depressed area. Included is massive investment in the north, including job creation. These recommendations are the basic building blocs for economic growth and stability… so no doubt they will be completely ignored by the government.
Who will benefit form these giant contracts? Well the NGOs in the north have been swarming around the Future Current of Saad Hariri like flies round shit.
Plus sa change…
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Posted by Design at 12:08