The elite force makes its way to the Taware neighborhood of Ain al-Hilweh for the first time, on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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A 150-strong joint Palestinian security force designed to prevent recurring clashes between rival factions and the infiltration of Al-Qaeda-linked militants deployed smoothly in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp Tuesday.Headed by Gen. Khaled Shayeb, a senior Fatah official, the elite force comprises representatives from all Palestinian factions in Ain al-Hilweh, including the Fatah Movement, Hamas, a coalition of Palestinian and Muslim parties as well as Islamist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda.A short ceremony that brought together the force's members with the camp's residents and Palestinian officials preceded the deployment.The force also fanned out in areas considered as "green lines" that witnessed security incidents, including the Safsaf neighborhood, the Fawqani Street, Fatah's offices at the camp's main entrance and the Jabal al-Halib area east of the camp.A 40-member unit will carry out patrols and escorts, a 30-member executive force will intervene when any fighting erupts, 20 members for social security, 35 men to direct traffic, and a 25-member unit to investigate any security incident that might happen in the camp and put suspected culprits in prison.
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