Group Seeks to Set Off Gaza-Style Riots at Lebanese Border

YERUSHALAYIM -
Palestinians clash with Israeli border police officers during a protest in the village of Sur Baher, East Yerushalayim, on Friday. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

A Lebanese group representing the descendants of Arab refugees who fled Israel in 1948 has proposed staging Gaza-style “march of return” riots at the Lebanese border. In a statement, the group said that it planned to gather thousands of such people to stage demonstrations, and asked the Lebanese army for protection. The proposed site for the riots is Nakura, adjacent to the United Nations’ UNIFIL headquarters.

Arutz Sheva quoted Lebanese Foreign Minister Jubran Bassil Al-Sabat as saying that Lebanon must do more “to return Palestinian refugees to their homeland.” Lebanon, he said, was determined “to prevent any plots to force it to give citizenship to Palestinian or Syrian refugees. The dangers of resettlement have increased and there is a greater desire by refugees to remain in our land. It is our responsibility to return them to their land after the difficult experiences they endured,” he said.

On Friday, some 6,000 Gaza Arabs gathered at the security fence and threw rocks and firebombs at Israeli soldiers. Soldiers responded with anti-riot measures. One rioter was killed, and several were injured. About a dozen were injured after trying to breach the security fence, security sources said.