Tensions High in Ain el-Hilweh after Islamist Kills Fatah Member

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Tensions were high on Monday at the Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Sidon after an Islamist militant shot dead a member of the secular Fatah Movement and unknown gunmen retaliated by killing the man's brother, state-run National News Agency reported.

“Omar al-Natour, a member of Bilal Badr's group, opened fire at Fatah Movement member Abed Qiblawi, killing him on the spot at the intersection of al-Fawqani street's vegetable market,” NNA said.

The two parties went on alert after the incident, which prompted the Joint Palestinian Security Force to intervene in a bid to contain the situation, the agency added.

But tensions flared up again in the evening, after unknown assailants killed Hamza al-Natour, Omar al-Natour's brother, NNA said.

Volleys of machinegun fire were heard after the killing and a state of tension was engulfing the camp, the agency added, noting that Palestinian and Lebanese officials were holding intensive contacts to prevent further deterioration.

Sidon MP Bahia Hariri meanwhile held a series of phone talks with a number of Fatah and Islamist officials at Ain el-Hilweh, urging them to pacify the situation.

Such incidents have become frequent in recent years in Ain el-Hilweh, the largest of Lebanon's 12 Palestinian refugee camps.

By long-standing convention, the Lebanese army does not enter the Palestinian camps in the country, leaving the Palestinian factions themselves to handle security.

That has created lawless areas in many camps, and Ain el-Hilweh has gained notoriety as a refuge for extremists and fugitives.


Comments 1
Thumb shab 28 March 2016, 20:09

Send them all back.