A man walks through an Ain al-Hilweh neighborhood during a cease-fire in the August clashes. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Despite 2017 ending with Palestinians in Lebanon united around the cause of Jerusalem in protest, the year remained marred by security concerns that rest heavily on the minds of the inhabitants of Lebanon's 12 Palestinian refugee camps.April and August witnessed the most violent clashes in the camp, though assassinations and scattered security incidents occurred throughout the year.Conversations with the camp's residents showed that the New Year's wish for most is stability and security – a hope that may have been inspired by significant progress with regard to the issue of people wanted by the authorities hiding out in the camp. Bilal Badr, the leader of a hard-line militant group with ties to Al-Qaeda, who instigated intense clashes in the camp in March and August this year, reportedly left the camp sometime in November or December destined for Syria's Idlib. Despite the departure of several high-ranking militants, the camp's residents are still dealing with the consequences of the April and August clashes that broke out between the Fatah Movement and joint Palestinian security forces on one side, and forces loyal to Badr and hard-line militia leader Bilal Arqoub on the other.
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