Tension between political factions in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, was running high on Monday (14 July) following last week's struggle for control of the Christian-dominated areas of the city.
LV PAN EXTERIOR Bomb-damaged cinema, West Beirut. (2 SHOTS)
CU PAN INTERIOR Debris. (3 SHOTS)
CU Injured people in hospital. (4 SHOTS)
CU Walid Jumblat speaking in English.
GV Beirut International Airport building.
GV PAN Runways and aprons deserts except for one aircraft.
CU PAN Passengers waiting with baggage.
SV & GV RAYAK sign and MEA mobile gangway driving in to military base.
CU PAN Passengers sitting on ground with luggage. (2 SHOTS)
GV PULL MACK MEA aircraft on tarmac.
GV EXTERIOR Warehouse at Beirut stadium.
SV PAN Mr. Abou Bakr Rafih, Saudi charge d'affaires (with glasses and light suit) enters warehouse with Lebanese officials and newsmen.
LV & CU Mr. Abou Bakr Rafih, (right) looking at sugar and talking with newsmen. (2 SHOTS)
GV Lorry load of sugar.
JUMBLAT: "The main thing is to prevent the advent of any independent mini-Falange state because of the dangers it has in its ideology. It is just a Fascist ideology that's the main point we are consenting on. They are talking like they have taken yesterday the Palestinians. It means that they have no respect at all for human nature be it Christian or Moslem or anything."
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Background: Tension between political factions in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, was running high on Monday (14 July) following last week's struggle for control of the Christian-dominated areas of the city. However the city's international airport has re-opened after a strike allowing more vital aid from Arab countries to flow into Lebanon
SYNOPSIS: In two days of fighting last week (7, 8 July) the right-wing Falangist Party effectively wiped out the military force of its rival National Liberation Party and took control of the Christian suburbs in the west of Beirut.
This cinema was one of many buildings destroyed in heavy fighting which left 140 people dead and another 500 wounded. Both factions are based in the Maronite Christian community. They fought together against Palestinian commandos and Lebanon's mainly-Moslem left in the 1975-76 civil war.
But now hundreds of wounded from both sides have overwhelmed hospitals in the Christian areas. Falangist chiefs have re-grouped their forces into an army which they say has a potential strength of forty thousand. The Falangists say its task will be liberate areas occupied by the Syrians and Palestinians in Lebanon. Leftists see the new militia as a threat. Walid Jumblat, the secretary general of the Lebanese National Movement, says the Falangists have no respect for human nature.
During most of last week, Beirut's International Airport was closed by a technicians' strike. The runways were virtually deserted as staff pressured the Government for better working conditions. It was the third stoppage within a month. Benefits offered by the Government had been turned down.
On Friday (11 July) the Lebanese Government decided to use a military airport near Beirut for civil aviation after talks with the technicians broke down.
The new airport didn't have the same conveniences but the same passengers seemed content to wait knowing that they would soon be out of the war-torn capital.
On Sunday the strike was called off and this air base reverted back to its military function. Despite the civil war and three years of factional fighting Lebanon's economy is still on its feet, but it relies increasingly on cash injections and aid from other Arab states. Saudi Arabia is one of the major contributors. This man, Mr. Abou Bakr Rafih, is the Saudi charge d'affaires. In this warehouse is stored his Government's latest gift to the Palestinians in Lebanon-a ten-million pound consignment of sugar and rice.