Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk reviews honor guards in Sidon, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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Palestinian factions in Lebanon should no longer carry arms and ought to seek protection under the Lebanese state, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said Tuesday, a day after the assassination of an Islamist gunman in Ain al-Hilweh.Machnouk said the disarming of the Palestinian camps required a fresh political accord.The latest assassinations in the Palestinian camps have jeopardized a neutrality agreement that was signed by Palestinian factions in Lebanon to disassociate themselves from violence linked to the war in Syria.Recent security incidents have prompted fears that the camps are harboring extremists, though Palestinian officials say those responsible for recent attacks in Lebanon are not from the camps.Machnouk expressed optimism that security problems in the camps could be contained, preventing spillover into other parts of Lebanon.Palestinian sources agreed that the presence of weapons in the camps was a problem, adding that the issue required a consensus agreement with the Lebanese government.Palestinian sources said the assassinations aim to sow chaos in the camps and sabotage the recent neutrality agreement.
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