SIDON, Lebanon: Thousands of Palestinians in several refugee camps in south Lebanon took to the streets Friday, condemning Israel's attacks against the Gaza Strip, and urged Hamas to launch more attacks.
The largest crowd was at the Palestinian Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp near the coastal city of Sidon where Palestinians carried flags and pictures of slain Hamas military commander Ahmad al-Jaabari who was killed in an air raid Wednesday.
Jaabari's death sparked reciprocal rocket attacks between the Jewish state and Palestinian resistance factions that have so far killed scores of people, raising concern of an all-out war.
Men, women and children carried banners asking for more shelling into Israel. Some of the signs read: “More rockets on Tel Aviv,” and “Hit Tel Aviv, Oh Qassam, you are the loved one.”
One banner read: “We do not want peace with a gang of murderers and crimes.”
In a bid to contain the fighting, Egypt’s Prime Minister Hisham Kandil flew to the Gaza Strip Friday and met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister in the Palestinian territory.
His visit was also aimed at expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of Israel’s “Operation Pillar of Defense,” which began with Jaabari’s killing.
Earlier Friday, Palestinians at Ain el-Hilweh lauded a rocket attack into Tel Aviv by Palestinian factions in Gaza and fired celebratory gunshots in the air overnight that left one woman wounded, security sources said.
The sources in Sidon, the provincial capital of south Lebanon, told The Daily Star that a Lebanese woman, standing on her balcony some four kilometers from the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hiwleh was wounded by a stray bullet.
She was identified as 61-year-old Sabah Jlailati.
Celebrating crowds, who gathered at the camp and the nearby Mieh Mieh refugee camp in solidarity with people of the Gaza Strip, shouted slogans calling for Hamas as well as the various other Palestinian factions to unleash more rockets on Israel.
“Firing a rocket [into Tel Aviv] is not a big deal. What’s more important is that a tiny place like Gaza was able to shut Ben Gurion airport and send Netanyahu to the shelter,” Palestinian refugee Mahmoud Khatib said over the telephone from the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp.