Palestinian Camp–Military Relations in Lebanon: The Case of Nahr al-Bared
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Nahr al-Bared is a Palestinian refugee camp in Northern Lebanon that was destroyed in 2007 during a fierce battle between the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and Fatah al-Islam, a Salafi Jihadi group. Through action research in the camp, the author was able to study how the Lebanese state sanctioned the prominent role of the military in stewarding the reconstruction of this camp, as well as in Palestinian camps more generally. The increased militarization of camp spaces was hence opposed by camp residents, who sought to get the army’s emergency measures lifted. Against this background the article discusses how Palestinian refugee initiatives asserted their demands for rebuilding and reclaiming their camp. It also illustrates the problematic consequences of juxtaposing increased military intervention within the urban spaces of marginalized communities in Lebanon.
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