chapter
30 Pages

Introduction

On the humanitarian cause

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts covered in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book discusses some common frameworks with which one simplify our understanding of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon as a humanitarian issue by interrogating the historical problematisation of the refugee crisis. It examines Bowker's account of the international community's attempts in the 1990s to scrutinise possible irregularities for the first time in United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and how it effectively countered with a campaign by Arab states and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the Occupied Territories. The book explores the process of entrenchment of an autonomous guerrilla movement in Lebanon, which sparked an arms race as other Lebanese groups sought to protect their lands from penetration by Palestinian guerrillas. It outlines the myriad economic opportunities present within the camps space, whilst paying attention to the broader regional political impetus for the existence of refugee camps within which patronage flourishes.