Palestinian Factions Agree on Forces Deployment in Ain el-Hilweh Campإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Palestinian factions in Lebanon agreed on Saturday to start the deployment of Palestinian security forces in the southern Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp as of Tuesday afternoon.
The decision was announced after an expanded meeting held at the headquarters of the Palestinian National Security Forces in the camp, with the participation of representatives of all Islamic and Palestinian factions in Lebanon.
The leaders said they have decided to “deploy joint a Palestinian security forces comprising 150 troops in different areas in the camp,” and set Tuesday, July 8, a date for starting the deployment.
"The forces will have presence in four fixed positions which are the vegetable market area, al-Barksat (in the northern part of the camp), al-Safsaf-al-Shohadaa mosque region and the Bustan al-Yahoud area,” they detailed.
"Today we are sending a message of security, peace and stability from the (Ain el-Hilweh) camp to protect Palestinians' presence in Lebanon based on the recent initiative announced by the national and Islamic factions,” Fathi Abu al-Ardat, the representative of both Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon, said after the meeting.
The Palestinian leader stressed that the “bitter experience” in the northern Nahr al-Bared camp and other camps around Lebanon “will not be repeated.”
"We insist on a unified Palestinian stance because we are one people, despite the presence of different factions. Our goal is one and it revolves around how to protect the Palestinian presence in collaboration with the Lebanese state.
"The security of the camp is part of this country's security.”
He noted that the plan also aims at strengthening Lebanese-Palestinian relations.
Abu al-Ardat continued: “We want security and stability for our people through this deployment. We want them to enjoy a decent life, and this is their right. The plan comes as a response to people's wishes”
"The forces will include all factions and national and Islamic forces, and will be a result ofjoint cooperation to protect the security of the camp,” he said.
"Ain el-Hilweh is our home until we return to Palestine.”
Located near the southern city of Sidon, Ain el-Hilweh is the largest Palestinian camp in the country and is home to about 50,000 refugees.
It is known to harbor extremists and fugitives.
Tension frequently surges in the camp as a result of armed disputes between the different Palestinian factions.
On May 14, clashes erupted in the camp between armed groups after news of the death of Fatah al-Islam official Alaeddine Ali Hujair broke out. At least four people were injured in the fighting.
Also in May, Fatah Movement official Colonel Talal al-Ordoni survived an attempt against his life in Ain el-Hilweh.
And in April, a tensed atmosphere reigned over Ain el-Hilweh after unknown assailants shot dead the bodyguard of Jund al-Sham official Oussama al-Shahabi.
On March 10, unknown assailants assassinated a high-ranking Fatah Movement official, Gen. Jamil Zeidan, in the southern camp.
By long-standing convention, the Lebanese army does not enter the country's 12 refugee camps, leaving security inside to the Palestinians themselves.