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Palestine | International | Anti-War

International silence on Gaza draws local rage
by via Daily Star, Lebanon
Sunday Jan 4th, 2009 9:53 PM
Sunday, January 4, 2009 : Palestinian refugees and Lebanese angered by Arab and international silence over Israel's military assault in Gaza continued to voice their discontent over the weekend. At the entrance of Bourj al-Barajneh camp in Beirut, young men in keffiyehs waved Palestinian flags near a collection box into which almost every passing car dropped money.
Gathering the donations was Bourj al-Barajneh resident Said, who told The Daily Star the money would be sent to organizations in the Gaza Strip to purchase medical equipment and food.

"Egypt is behind all this," he said, calling President Hosni Mubarak an Israeli collaborator. "The people of Gaza must have patience and remain steadfast," Said remarked as he handed out stickers emblazoned with the Palestinian flag and the words, "Gaza is a symbol of pride."

Further along, a solidarity tent with open phone lines to Gaza had been hastily erected. According to representatives of the Emergency Forum for Relief, comprising 16 local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the tent will remain in place for as long as Israel's onslaught on Gaza continues. Not many of Bourj al-Barajneh's residents came from Gaza, youth project coordinator of the Palestinian NGO Women's Humanitarian Organization, Zeina Salhani said, but some had lost relatives in the Israeli bombardments and all were angered by the events. "This tent is a way for them to express that anger," she said.

In the tent, dozens of children with painted faces were pinning up drawings made for their counterparts in Gaza. One picture showed a shoe being thrown at the Israeli flag, in reference to the recent "shoeing" of US President George W. Bush by Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi. "We are asking all the Arabs to help Gaza and to restore their human rights," said 11-year-old Alaa, who had "Gaza" written on his face. "The Arabs should join hands to liberate Palestine."

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