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Conflict Incident Report

Siege of Tal el-Zaatar and Jisr el-Basha camps

Associated Timeline/Case: 
The Two-Year War | February, 1975 to December, 1976
Date of incident: 
January 4, 1976 to August 12, 1976
Actors/Parties Involved: 
Christian groups

In early January 1976, the warring parties resorted to a new form of violence. On January 4 Christian militias began a siege of the Palestinian camps of Tel al-Zaatar and Jisr al-Basha, and the shantytowns of Maslakh and Karantina, as well as Nabaa and the Palestinian camp of Dbayeh, which were all located on the eastern side of Beirut. This became a full-blown confrontation and civilian massacre, which ended in August of that year. (Maslakh, Karantine, Nabaa, Dbayeh discussed in detail in a separate incident report). On January 4, 1976, Christian militias stopped a number of supply trucks heading to Tel al-Zaatar and Jisr al-Basha, even though they were escorted by ISF patrols. The siege involved blocking access to medical supplies, water, and electricity. Mainly Palestinians refugees lived in the camps, but there also were some Lebanese, Syrians, and Egyptians there. The main power cable supplying Beirut, located in the vicinity of Tel al-Zaatar, was hit on June 23, depriving all of Beirut of power for more than four months.

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