Palestinian force deploys in Lebanon camp, ending clashes

Trevor Jackson
April 13, 2017

Tensions have been high in Sidon since last Friday, when Badr group opened fire on the Joint Security Force fighters as they were deploying in Al-Tireh neighborhood, as a part of an agreement following an earlier battle which lasted for days in the refugee camp last February.

Ambulances rushed the wounded to hospitals near the Ein el-Hilweh camp in the port city of Sidon, and Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported that four people were killed since the fighting began Friday.

Palestinian leaders said on Tuesday they would break up an armed Islamist group involved in clashes with security forces inside the volatile Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon.

An adjacent highway has been cut and patients moved from the Sidon governmental hospital next to the camp.

The group's leader Bilal Badr reportedly fled the camp on Monday, and is being sought by Joint Security Forces.

Ein El Hilweh resident Salah Al Ali said the camp had been damaged by shelling.

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By long-standing convention, Lebanon's army does not enter Palestinian refugee camps, where security is managed by joint committees of Palestinian factions.

The situation was calmer on Tuesday though gunfire could still be heard in the camp, witnesses said.

"This has led to chaos in Ain el-Hilweh", said Sheikh Mohammed al-Muwad, in his office in Sidon.

Palestinian officials in the camp called Sunday on remaining members of Badr's group to surrender with their weapons. "These groups do not abide by any oaths or promises".

Palestinian factions met on Tuesday to organize the deployment of the force in the Tiri area in Ain al-Hilweh, despite tension throughout the day. The camp was established in 1948 to host Palestinians displaced by Israeli forces during the establishment of Israel.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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