A member of the Palestinian Fatah faction was killed in factional clashes at the Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon on Sunday, a Fatah official said, as fighting that has killed at least four people, raged for a third day.
At least five people have been killed and dozens more people wounded in the latest round of fighting, pitching Fatah and other Palestinian groups against hard line Sunni Islamists known as the Badr group.
Fatah is led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Clashes have erupted intermittently in recent months in Ain al-Hilweh. The latest round began on Friday when a joint security force grouping the main Palestinian factions met resistance from Badr fighters as it tried to deploy in the camp.
Mortar bombs have been fired in the most recent clashes, some of the most ferocious between the sides to date.
Lebanon’s Palestinian camps mainly fall outside the jurisdiction of the Lebanese security services. There are some 450,000 Palestinian refugees living in 12 refugee camps in Lebanon.
‘Plots to Bury Palestine Cause’
Lebanon Speaker Nabih Berri on Sunday sounded the alarm over the ongoing deadly clashes .
“Who benefits from preventing the Joint Palestinian Security Force from deploying in the Ain el-Hilweh camp after all national and Islamist Palestinian factions and forces agreed on its role in consolidating security and stability in the camp?” Berri asked in a statement.
“Is there an attempt to keep the biggest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon a bleeding wound in order to cover up for the schemes and plots that are being orchestrated in black rooms with the aim of burying the Palestinian cause and usurping the last of the Palestinian people’s rights, which is the right to return to their homeland?” the speaker added.
“Our bet has always been and will always be on the awareness of the Palestinian leaders and people and their ability to thwart all attempts aimed at plunging the Palestinian camps, topped by the Ain el-Hilweh camp, into the inferno of internal and continuous strife, which only benefits Israel,” Berri went on to say.
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