BEIRUT: Head of the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee, Hasan Mneimneh, met with Hamas’s political head in Lebanon Monday, to discuss a united Palestinian political committee and the soon-to-be launched elite security force for the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp.
“I call on Hamas and all Palestinian factions to play a natural role in fighting terrorism and combating the appearance of any cell in the camps,” said Mneimneh, expressing his full support for a political committee to work in coordination with the joint security force and the Lebanese government.
During the meeting, Hamas’ political head, Ali Barakeh, stressed the importance of forming a political committee comprised of all Palestinian factions in Ain al-Hilweh, adding that it was consensus amongst rival groups allowed for the Palestinain elite security force to be formed.
"We will continue in a way that benefits from lessons of the past, by resorting to dialogue,” said Barakeh.
The Ain al-Hilweh camp has been troubled wtih sporadic clashes erupting between the radical Fatah al-Islam group and supporters of the Fatah Movement.
The 150-member elite force, due to be deployed July 8, will be responsible for maintaining security inside the troubled camp that is located in the outskirts of Sidon.
Hamas’ political head regarded the project as a successful start of a wider Palestinian initiative, adding that “subsequent steps would initiate joint security and political forces in the Beddawi and Burj al-Barajneh camps."
Barakeh pointed out that Hamas’s policy rejects intervention in internal Lebanese affairs and opposes any measure that would bring Lebanon in to conflict with Israel.
“What the Lebanese hope for when it comes to Palestinians, is what they hope for themselves -- neutrality in the face of inter-Arab problems,” said Mneimneh.
Barakeh also referred to a shootout in the Shatila camps that claimed the lives of two men last week, urging Lebanese security forces to capture the shooters and refer them to relevant judicial authorities.
The Ain al-Hilweh camp also witnessed several attacks on Islamist groups in May.