SIDON, Lebanon: A tense calm prevailed in the streets of Ain al-Hilweh Wednesday as the funeral of a Fatah member who was killed in this week’s clashes was held.
Senior officials from Fatah, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and representatives of various Palestinian factions attended the funeral of Khalid al-Masri, who was buried at the New Cemetery of Ain al-Hilweh.
The gunfire that accompanied the funeral caused Fatah al-Islam fighters to go on heightened alert, and required the involvement of the Palestinian Follow-Up Committee and the Joint Security Forces to restore calm.
In a separate incident, the fragile cease-fire monitored by the Joint Security Forces was also threatened when a stun grenade was thrown near the vicinity of this week’s two-day-long clashes, raising fears of renewed violence.
UNRWA schools remained closed but normalcy was restored in several of the camp’s markets.
Residents of the neighborhoods that witnessed clashes have demanded compensation for their losses after inspecting the damage caused to property. Workers from the camp have also repaired the water and electrical networks that were damaged.
Separately, a meeting between the leadership of the Palestinian National Security Forces hosted members of the Follow-Up Committee to discuss this week’s incidents.
A statement released after the meeting stressed that “the participants expressed the need for cooperation among all the camp’s factions to contain the security incidents, and prevent any internal strife.”
Following the meeting, the head of the Palestinian National Security Forces in Lebanon, Gen. Sobhi Abu Arab, was confident that the cease-fire would hold. “The security forces are still deployed and calm is restored in the camp,” he said. He thanked the Follow-Up Committee for its efforts and hailed the residents who took to the streets to protest the violence.
“We will not allow any security breach by any of the Palestinian factions in the future,” he said.
The violence ended Tuesday after intensive efforts by the Follow-Up Committee led to a cease-fire. The clashes resulted in one death and 13 injuries.