Lebanon News

Palestinian security force set to launch in Lebanon camps

Fatah members stand guard in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh near Sidon, Sunday, March 16, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT: A Palestinian official announced Wednesday that a security force bringing together factions from the Palestinian refugee camps is expected to launch Friday to “maintain security and stability in the camps.”

“We consider ourselves under the authority of the Lebanese law and are ready to coordinate fully in order to save Lebanon's security and the security of the Palestinian refugee camps” said Azzam al-Ahmad, Fatah’s official handling the reconciliation file.

Ahmad met with Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Palestinian Ambassador in Lebanon Ashraf Dabbour and a number of Palestinian leaders in the Grand Serail.

The Voice of Lebanon radio station announced later Wednesday that the formation of the security force was pending the approval of all official security institutions in Lebanon, adding that a registry of names had been drawn up and listed members had been tested by a joint security commitee.

According to Ahmad, the refugee-camp security plan is a product of coordination between the PLO and the Palestinian Embassy on one hand and the Lebanese security forces on the other.

“Coordination is meant to preserve security in the camps and prevent any attack on Lebanon’s internal security by forces that foreign to both Lebanon and Palestine,” he said.

Ahmad added that the security coalition would join Palestinian factions from the Ain al-Hilweh camps and is set to operate in full coordination with the Lebanese Army.

Ahmad condemned measures taken by Israeli forces as a result of the formation of a government of national consensus between Hamas and Fatah and after the signing of an agreement ending the feud between the Palestinian rivals.

“The tension and hysteria that [took over] the Israeli right initiated one crisis after the other as a series of sanctions imposed by the Israeli government targeted Palestinian leadership, in an attempt to block the implementation of the agreement,” he said.

According to the Ahmad, measures by Israeli security have prevented the movement of ministers from the occupied West Bank to the Gaza Strip. He said the 10-day Israeli military campaign in the West Bank had left eight dead and more than 600 detained.

“Israeli forces have returned to the policy of demolishing homes and cottages in different regions and re-erected security check points. This will not make the Palestinian leadership nor the Palestinian people succumb to Israeli policy,” he added.

Ahmad expressed beliefs that the rigidity of the peace process resulted from Israel’s intransigence and its lack of commitment to its obligations.

The representative condemned Israel’s stance on occupied Jerusalem, stressing that “such measures intend to remove the claim of Arabs and Palestinians, Muslims and Christians over the holy city."



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