SIDON, Lebanon: Palestinian factions requested that the Army intelligence ease their security measures at the entrances of Ain al-Hilweh, to facilitate access for refugees entering and exiting the camp, a Palestinian Liberation Organization representative told The Daily Star.
The request was made during a meeting held in order to strengthen Lebanese-Palestinian ties, at the military barracks in Sidon. PLO and Fatah representative Fathi Abu al-Ardat was present, as were Army intelligence chief in south Lebanon Brig. Gen. Ali Shahrour, secretary of both the Fatah Movement and the head of Palestinian National Security Maj. Gen. Sobhi Abu Arab, and senior Fatah official Brig. Gen. Khaled Shayeb.
The meeting focused on the security and stability of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.
Abu al-Ardat told The Daily Star that at the meeting, held Monday, there was unanimous agreement on the need to care for and maintain refugee camps, “in coordination and cooperation with our brothers in the Lebanese government, and at the same time, to avoid any attempts made to drag the camps into internal or external fights.”
“Therefore, we confirmed to our Lebanese brothers our single position as factions, that we appreciated their efforts and their support for maintaining stability in the camps, and the Palestinian cause. And we confirmed our rejection of rumors, circulated by the media, about Ain al-Hilweh camp, and we considered that the goal of these rumors is to produce tensions,” he said.
Abu al-Ardat reiterated that the situation in the camp was normal and calm.
“We also renewed our assertion that the camps are secure and stable, and can’t be used as a means to puncture the stability of Lebanon. This is the united Palestinian stance that resulted from a national Palestinian understanding to protect both the camp and the cause of the refugees,” he said.