“Pain befalls only those who got the wound”. This line of poetry puts into words the solidarity expressed by Palestinians with their Lebanese siblings in the wake of the Beirut port explosion.
How they would not, having seen the thread of tragedies they have suffered over time live again before their eyes just by watching the Beirut blast, which shook the city and its vicinity, claiming several casualties, rendering them either dead or wounded.
Disasters are only felt by those who live them, suffering the different shades of their color and various forms of their pain.
It is not only borders that connect Palestinians and Lebanese, the two peoples are united by language, blood and the struggle against the same occupier, which makes it a necessity that Palestine stands next to Lebanon while surviving such a disaster, for Palestinian people have went through dozens of tragedies since the occupation of Palestine 72 years ago.
On Tuesday, 8 August 2020, a massive blast rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, leaving behind massive destruction of public and private property, while more than 200 people died, including two Palestinians, and 4000 got injured, among whom 13 are Palestinians, and the numbers are still on the rise.
Information give it that the blast resulted of highly explosive materials confiscated years before and stored at a warehouse in Beirut port.
Wide Palestinian solidarity
In no time, following the blast, Palestinian organizations in Lebanon announced a state of elevated alert, including medical and civil staffers, to help with the rescue operations, handling the rubble and offering assistance to the wounded. To this end, Palestinian organizations offered relief aid and hospitals, on their turn, received the injured, while civil squads backed Lebanese units in rescue operations and fighting fires. The civilians also helped, as they opened their houses for those whose homes were destroyed.
Several youth initiatives took part as well, starting at the camps. The participants provided clothes, covers and food to the needy, supporting the medical and civil teams.
Inside Palestine and abroad, solidarity sit-ins were held, and Palestinian entities, committees and institutions, both official and popular, declared solidarity with Lebanon, mourning the dead, while social networking sites bore witness to a massive popular sympathy.
Furthermore, a delegation of the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad (PCPA) visited the Lebanese Embassy in Lebanon to offer condolences and express solidarity with Lebanon.
Palestinian institutions in Europe also launched urgent relief campaigns in support of Lebanon and the people in need, to help them survive the storm hitting the country.
We stand by Lebanon for this reason
“We, the Palestinians, stand with humanity, let alone if it is a country which we love and where we live,” Yasser Ali, a member PCPA’s General Assembly, told Pal Abroad, commenting on the Palestinian position of the current crisis in Lebanon.
He pointed out that once the blast took place follow up of the media and political talks started, statements were immediately made by the majority of Palestinian entities, the site was visited and the injured were comforted.
Ali added that Palestinian forces, factions and civil organizations, have put all their resources at the disposal of their Lebanese siblings, for calls were made with officials to offer all possible service.
“Palestinian (medical, first aid and rescue) teams moved from all the Palestinian camps. The Palestinian al-Shifaa Hospital, for instance, deployed 13 teams, 13 ambulances and about 100 staffers. Other organizations called for blood donations, and thousands of Palestinians from the camps responded.”
He stressed that the Palestinian youth have also organized solidarity sit-ins at the gates to the Palestinian camps, while charities launched campaigns to raise money and in-kind donations from the camps, which are to be delivered to the Lebanese popular entities.”
“The camps did not merely watch and various individualist initiatives were held. Some people opened their houses for the afflicted; others went to the blast location and helped in lifting the rubble in person. The initiatives were countless,” he added.
For her part, the Lebanon-based Palestinian journalist Hiba al-Jindawe described what Beirut means to her, saying that:
“Beirut for us is the caring mother that embraced us once we sought refuge here.”
In its shape, she said, Beirut looks like al-Quds and other Palestinian cities, for it suffered the furnace of war and besiegement.
She pointed out that despite the suffering and the harsh circumstances it witnessed Beirut survived and managed to be what they call it, the capital of joy.
Talking to Pal Abroad, she said:
“As Palestinian refugees, we feel that Beirut help us be patient about suffering, from it we learn to stand still and hang on.”
“Palestinians are part of the Lebanese, because they have been living in Lebanon for 70 years. How would not they express solidarity with it and share its moments of joy and misery.”
This is a salute to the Palestinian people in Lebanon for its attitude, which expresses the real stance of it, and its appreciation to all who back it. This is a message we hope the Lebanese politicians read as to grant Palestinians their lawful rights. (The Editorial team)