Tuesday, September 03, 2002
Lebanon's An-Nahar newspaper, which is regarded as being quite independent and outspoken in its views on Lebanon's independence, contains a response to yesterday's claims in Ha'aretz that Al-Qa'ida operatives have been allowed to enter the Palestinian refugee camp El-Hilwe. The article cites primarily Syrian and Palestinian spokesmen. The Syrian spokesman describes the claims and "funny and ludicrous lies which do not merit a response", while the Palestinian spokesman says that it is impossible that so many people would cross such a great distance in order to enter to poor conditions of the refugee camp.
Ha'aretz's claims are presented in some detail without comment, and Ra'anan Gissin is cited at the end stating that he would not comment on the article in Ha'aretz, but that it "points to the fact that there are several radical groups in Damascus, amongst them Palestinian organisations, and it is only a matter of time until Al-Qa'ida will find a safe sanctuary in Damascus, like the other organisations".
Incidentally, the original Ha'aretz article mentions that the An-Nahar newspaper had condemned what was happening in the refugee camp on 15th August. I shall keep my eyes on this interesting paper for further developments. The quality of reporting was far superior to the this propaganda of Al-Ayyam.
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