The Lebanese authorities have begun constructing an isolation wall around one of the country’s largest Palestinian refugee camps, as they begin a process of securitising refugees who have been living in Lebanon since the State of Israel forced them out of their homes in 1948.
According to the Almodon Online website, Palestinian refugees living in the Ain Al-Hilweh camp have to submit themselves to Lebanese security forces daily for inspections whenever they want to leave the camp.
Citing security sources, Almodon said that Lebanese authorities had begun construction of a wall of “racist segregation” that is planned to be four to five metres high and that will surround the entire perimeter of the camp, and should be completed within the next 15 months.
The security measures are also said to include watchtowers placed around the camp in order to keep the Palestinian refugees under constant surveillance.
Lebanon claims that Palestinians living in the camps have been involved in violent militancy, yet campaigners argue that such measures amount to collective punishment for the actions of a few. Army officials also claim that militants have sought refuge in the camp from authorities.
Part of the security wall will be built a mere three metres away from the homes of some of the camps inhabitants, causing anger and frustration amongst Palestinians in Ain Al-Hilweh near the Lebanese city of Sidon, according to the New Arab.
Angry Palestinians took to social media to slam the Lebanese authorities, branding the isolation wall a “wall of shame” and saying that it was similar to the policies of the Israeli government.
Ain Al-Hilweh is home to 70,000 registered Palestinian refugees who have been joined by thousands more in recent years due to the ongoing Syrian civil war.