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Lebanon News

Fatah denies activity in Beirut tunnel

A general view of the Burj al-Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Fatah Movement Thursday denied activity in an old tunnel linking two Palestinian refugee camps in the suburbs of Beirut, saying the allegations seek to stir strife between the camps and the Lebanese host communities.

“Such accusations are baseless and aim to stir tensions to secure an environment for strife between camps and their surroundings,” Fatah said in a statement.

“At a time when we try to address our own issues and attempts to drag our camps into strife, we hear of voices targeting the Palestinian presence ... to distort our reputation by viewing the camps as a source of terror and danger for the Lebanese and civil peace, that there are terrorist cells and that there are tunnels linking camps together as if we are in a state of war.”

Earlier this week, Hezbollah went on high alert in Beirut’s southern suburbs after the alleged discovery of activity in an old tunnel between the Burj al-Barajneh and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps, deploying heavily in the areas and erecting barricades in others.

The partially completed tunnel dates back to the Civil War but the nature of the recent activity remained unknown, a security source told The Daily Star.

In its statement, Fatah said that Palestinian officials and figures in the camps were in full cooperation with the Lebanese authorities and their security forces to curb tensions that might stir problems.

"We reject all allegations by Lebanese media outlets against the Palestinian camps, the Palestinians, and the Palestinian cause.”

 

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