Palestinian force deploys in Lebanon camp, ending clashes

Posted April 13, 2017

A local Palestinian commander in Lebanon has vowed to crush a small group of extremists in a refugee camp as clashes intensified for a second day and at least one person was killed. Lebanese army´s infantry and armored troops still remain deployed and in full alert all over the refugee camp, but without intervening or entering it under an old agreement between the government and the Palestinians.

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

Wednesday, an exchange of fire erupted in the camp was set to delay the deployment of the joint force.

Fatah is led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Gunmen loyal to Badr agreed to leave the area before the joint force moved in.

The camp is also home to a range of Palestinian groups and factions of competing political affiliations. There are some 450,000 Palestinian refugees living in 12 camps in Lebanon.

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Ein el-Hilweh, which like the other camps falls outside the jurisdiction of the Lebanese security services, has been plagued in recent months by deadly clashes between the various armed groups operating there.

The fighting prompted the Lebanese army to take security measures at the entrance of the camp, including shutting the highway next to it.

Traces of violence spilt beyond the camp's boundaries, and Lebanon's authorities closed the motorway connecting the city to southern Lebanon.

Information received by Asharq Al-Awat from inside the camp said that Bilal Badr is now in the protection of the terrorist Fatah al-Islam leader Osama al-Shehabi.

In recent months, intermittent deadly clashes have erupted in the camp and mortar bombs have been used in a lot of them. It was established in 1948, to host Palestinians displaced by Israeli forces during the establishment of Israel.