How refugee camps became a springboard for the Palestinian opposition

The Six-Day War became a turning point for Palestinians after Israel expanded its hold on the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Refugee camps were transformed into operational bases for Palestinians fighting for their homeland.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

A Lebanese woman in the Bourj al Barajneh neighborhood of Beirut, Lebanon. (File photo)

The outcome of the Six-Day War was a turning point for Palestinians as Israel took over the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza after defeating Syria, Jordan, and Egypt in the Arab-Israeli war of June 1967.

Raafat Murra, a Hamas leader in Beirut, said, "1967 was a moral and military defeat. The Palestinians used to dream of returning, but found themselves losing more land."

He said, "They lost confidence in Arab governments and took an oath to depend on themselves."

Palestinians who had been fighting for their homeland organised in refugee camps in Lebanon and across the region. As they took it upon themselves to fight against Israel, they also drew criticism from some quarters over their fighting tactics.

"The Palestinian revolution turned them from refugee camps into camps to oppose the Israeli occupation. When the camps were transformed from refugee camps to military camps, some of the Palestinian youth joined bases. I joined one around 1969, 1970," Mounir al Muqdah, a Fatah military leader, said.

TRT World’s Zeina Awad visited Lebanon's Bourj al Barajneh refugee camp outside Beirut.

TRT World spoke with Steven Salaita of the American University of Beirut who explains the impact of the1967 war across the region.