in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Hamas is gaining strength among young people

Since the Hamas attack on October 7, the terrorist group has become increasingly popular among Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, who have lived in camps for 75 years.


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Young Palestinians play table football in the Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon.  (JOSEPH EID / AFP)

“Eradicate Hamas”, this is one of the objectives stated by Israel since the start of the war. The terrorist group that governed the Gaza Strip has “lost control” Monday, November 13, according to the Israeli army. But since October 7, Hamas fighters have been seen by many Palestinians as the new leaders of the resistance. The group is growing in strength, particularly in Lebanon where 500,000 refugees live, exiled since the creation of Israel in 1948. In the Sabra and Chatila camps, more and more young people are joining the Islamist group.

In the alleys of Sabra, green Hamas flags have been flying everywhere since October 7. So far very discreet, the Islamist group is gaining strength in this Palestinian refugee camp. Mohamed is 26 years old, he has just joined Hamas. “The victory of October 7 was like an earthquakehe said. Since then, all young people my age want to learn to fight because that is the only way we will get our land back. We must be prepared to kill and be killed.” Mohammed assures him, his generation is opposed to any negotiation with Israel because, as he states: “The only solution is war.”

In 1948, then in 1967, we signed pieces of paper to make peace, but where is it? Palestine continues to be colonized.

Mohamed, Palestinian refugee in Lebanon


In Lebanon, Palestinians have no rights. They have lived in poverty for 75 years. Zeinab, a social worker, admits her helplessness in the face of rising extremism. “Our youth has no perspectiveshe denounces. 90% of them are unemployed and all this pain encourages the emergence of radical groups. By letting us suffer in camps, the United Nations and America, which supports Israel, are increasing terrorism.” And this Palestinian activist wonders: if already in Lebanon, many young Palestinians are falling into violence, in what state of mind will the children of Gaza grow up?

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