Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Documents Uncover Involvement of Qatari Charity in Lebanon’s Nahr al-Bared Unrest | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palestinian girls walk at the refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared on the outskirts of the Lebanese northern city of Tripoli on 30 May, 2011. (AFP)

Riyadh – Documents obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat prove that the Qatar-based Sheikh Eid al Thani Charity (“Eid Charity”) was involved in financing and supporting the Lebanon-based Fatah al-Islam members and had also helped in the fracture between the group and the Palestinian Fatah al-Intifada movement.

Ten years ago, in May 2007, Lebanon witnessed an armed conflict at the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp near the northern city of Tripoli when the Lebanese Army was asked to intervene in the area and control the spread of a new movement called Fatah al-Islam, which adopted the ideology of al-Qaeda.

The camp witnessed bloody unrest that lasted more than three months. At least 140 Fatah al-Islam members were killed, while more than 50 civilians were killed or injured at the camp. The clashes also left at least 150 soldier casualties.

Ten years after the Nahr al-Bared events, documents obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat revealed that the Eid Charity is active in Lebanon and had financially supported the Islamic Jihad in Palestine and a number of Fatah al-Islam figures. An extremist cleric, who tried to fuel sectarianism in Lebanon, manages the charity.

The documents also said that the charity, operating in Lebanon under the cover of providing money and medical and food aid to the camp, had also provided money to three men designated by the Lebanese security as extremists. Some of those men were involved in the “string of attacks on American fast-food restaurants in Tripoli.”

Also, the documents proved that one year prior to the Nahr al-Bared events, a member of the Eid Charity had twice visited Beirut and Tripoli and met with a number of hardline clerics to express the charity’s readiness to support them.