SIDON, Lebanon: Fatah al-Islam official Alaa Ali Hujeir died Wednesday of wounds he sustained in an assassination attempt last week, raising fears of a possible escalation of tensions in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh.
Hujeir was left in critical condition after being shot in the camp last week.
His killing is part of a string of assassinations in Ain al-Hilweh that has claimed the lives of Ali Khalil, a bodyguard of Fatah al-Islam official Bilal Badr, and Sunni Sheikh Arsan Suleiman, leading to a drastic deterioration of security in Lebanon’s largest refugee camp.
The perpetrators of the recent attacks remain unknown.
Earlier this week, sporadic clashes erupted between members of Fatah al-Islam and the Fatah Movement, wounding seven people, mostly civilians, with the former accusing the latter group of killing Hujeir.
In a bid to end the tensions and curtail any further escalation, the Supreme Security Committee for Palestinian Camps has finalized a security plan to restore stability in the camp, including forming a 150-strong security force.
The force, which will be divided into several units, is aimed at curbing the rise of assassinations, arresting perpetrators, addressing the recent security incidents and preventing future ones, Palestinian sources told The Daily Star.
Units will be dispatched to patrol the camp, investigate and collect information on the ground, organize traffic, contribute to awareness campaigns, carry out preemptive measures and address current social and security issues including drug use, school problems, employment and medical care.
Headquarters for several units will also be constructed under the plan.
The plan also stipulates that security forces will implement measures with “full political cover” from Palestinian factions in the camp and that the Supreme Security Committee would be responsible for the force.
“All Palestinian factions should also be part of this security force regardless of the nature and the number of such participation,” a source said.
Describing the creation of the force as an unprecedented move for the camp, a Palestinian source said the security plan would be launched after the monthly budgets were secured for personnel wages and the purchase of equipment such as surveillance cameras.
All national and Islamist Palestinian groups have given the green light for the creation of the force and are expected to hold meetings to set the mechanism needed to launch the security plan, the sources said.
Palestinian officials at the camp are also coordinating with Lebanese authorities to provide the “legal, political and security support,” needed for the plan to succeed, the source said.