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Lebanese poll: Disarm Palestinians
11/09/2005
Results in tune with efforts to tighten reins around Palestinian factions.
A poll published Tuesday in Lebanon showed the great dissatisfaction among Lebanese with the armed Palestinian factions in their midst. According to the opinion poll conducted by Statistics Lebanon Ltd. and published by the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, 72 percent of the Lebanese want Palestinians in Lebanon disarmed. The poll surveyed 400 Lebanese from a cross-section of the population of Beirut, Mount Lebanon, the north, south and the Bekaa valley, according to An-Nahar. The results are in tune with recent efforts by the Lebanese government to tighten the reins around Palestinian factions. Following the release of a UN report stating that Lebanon was facing an "increasing influx of weaponry and personnel from Syria" to Palestinian militia groups, the Lebanese army moved troops and armored cars around bases of seven Palestinian groups. Two were run by the PFLP and five by the PLO-Intifada, reported Al-Jazeera.net. The Palestinian factions have carved out areas of southern Lebanon as no-go zones for the Lebanese army. On October 27, PFLP leader Ahmed Jibril reportedly said that his group was holding six Lebanese soldiers captive. "We detained six Lebanese soldiers, one of them an officer, after they approached one of our positions in Kfarazabad on Wednesday," Jibril was quoted as saying in an interview with the Beirut daily An-Nahar. "We notified the Lebanese army... and maybe we will be able to settle the issue in the evening [Thursday]." In September 2004, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for the disarmament of all militias in Lebanon. A UN report last month charged that the continued presence of armed Palestinian fighters in Lebanon violated that resolution. AP contributed to this article.
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