Lebanon News

Palestinian official: Ain al-Hilweh still secure

The newly formed "elite force" deployed in Ain al-Hilweh.(The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT: Palestinian refugee camps are stable and neutral said the head of the Palestinian National Security Forces in Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Sobhi Abu Arab Sunday, negating allegations that factions within the camps are stirring up clashes.

“[The] rumors are all false ... there has not been any assault on the Army nor any recorded incident in the camp,” said Abu Arab in a meeting with Sidon MP Bahia Hariri.

The Security Forces head said that Palestinian camps have committed to a neutral stand in light of recent events in Arsal and Tripoli.

With regards to the Palestinian Elite Security Force, tasked with overlooking the security and stability of the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp, Sobhi said that an expansion into other camps is underway.

However he added that “the decision to expand the security force to cover the rest of the camps does not stem from a sense of danger.”

The circulation of the Elite Security Force will begin with Sidon’s Mieh Mieh camp, Beirut’s Burj al-Barajneh, Sabra and Shatila camps, as well as the Beddawi camp.

For her part, Hariri stressed the importance of the Palestinian presence in Lebanon remaining neutral, emphasizing the need to distance the camps from what is going on locally and in the region.

The Sidon MP noted the commitment of all Palestinian forces to the stability in Lebanon, hailing their efforts in maintaining security in the Ain al-Hilweh camp.

“This wouldn’t have happened had it not been for the understanding of all Palestinian factions,” concluded Hariri.





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