BEIRUT: Palestinian factions in Lebanon said over the weekend that they keeping a tight grip on the stability of the refugee camps and called for the Lebanese government to facilitate the entrance of Palestinian refugees from Syria who are fleeing battles in the war-torn country.
“We are holding tight to the security and stability inside the Palestinian camps and maintaining their good relationship with the neighboring Lebanese population, particularly Ain al-Hilweh,” the factions said in a statement following their periodic meeting Saturday, referring to the Palestinian refugee camp at the coastal southern city of Sidon.
“We are also keeping up the work to form a joint Palestinian security force and implement its deployment in the camp soon,” they said.
Palestinian factions announced in May that they were planning to establish a local elite security force in response to a rise of assassinations, security incidents and clashes in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp.
Palestinian factions have so far managed to control and contain the fallout from the assassinations and shooting incidents that have targeted high-ranking figures and officials in the camp.
The factions, comprising different Palestinian parties, also called for facilitating the entrance of Palestinian refugees from Syrian into Lebanon, and for allowing them to renew their passports just like Syrian refugees.
“The conditions that led to the displacement [of Palestinians and Syrians] are one and they apply to all refugees,” they said.
Also in May, Lebanon’s General Security dismissed reports that the institution was imposing discriminatory entry and residency policies for Palestinians.
Lebanon’s Interior Ministry set new regulations for Palestinian refugees from Syria in May, in response to the arrest of some 49 Syrians and Palestinians previously living in Syria at Beirut's airport on suspicion of possessing forged documents.
Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said back then that no decision had been taken to prevent Palestinians refugees from Syria from entering or transiting through Lebanon, but “certain measures” had been put in place.
The Palestinians factions also reiterated their solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israel, especially “heroic inmates that have been on a hunger strike for 52 days.”
They called on the international community to intervene in order to save them and to work on their immediate release.