Fierce clashes rock Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon

by Abel Hampton April 14, 2017, 1:18
Fierce clashes rock Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon

At least five people have been killed and 32 others wounded in clashes inside a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon since Friday, officials say.

An injured member of the Palestinian Fateh Movement stands guard.

The clashes broke out last Friday (April 7) when Badr terrorists opened fire at the joint force members as they were deploying in one of three posts agreed upon by Palestinian factions following an earlier battle which lasted for days in the refugee camp last February.

The camp's radical groups have regularly fallen afoul of Palestinian security forces for hiding fugitives from the Lebanese law.

The Palestinian refugee camp is the home of about 61,000 Palestinians, including 6,000 who have fled the foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria.

Large groups of displaced Palestinians returned to their homes in the Al-Tiri neighborhood, which is now under the control of the camp's joint factional security forces, the LBCI TV reported.

Fighters armed with assault rifles and truck-mounted rocket-propelled grenades traded fire inside.

The government hospital in the port city of Sidon was struck by a rocket, and Lebanese authorities have closed the main highway connecting the city to southern Lebanon.

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

Salah al-Ali, a resident of the camp, said there was damage from shelling inside the camp.

Gunfire and explosions were heard on Sunday night, but Lebanese media said the camp appeared calm on Monday. "These groups do not abide by any oaths or promises". They are also prohibited from owning property.

On Wednesday Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman telephoned United Nations envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov and berated him for not commenting on the recent Palestinian deaths in the camp, saying it showed the "hypocrisy and double standards" the world has against Israel.

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