Lebanon News

Ambassador denies Palestinian involvement in armed clashes

MAJDALYOUN, Lebanon: The Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon and representatives of rival factions said Tuesday that Palestinians were not involved in the recent armed clashes that erupted in Beirut.

“There was no Palestinian involvement in what happened, and I stress that this is the clear position of all Palestinian leaders,” Ambassador Ashraf Dabbour said after holding talks with MP Bahia Hariri at her residence in Majdalyoun, east of Sidon.

“Everybody knows that Palestinians are adopting a policy of positive neutrality at this period,” he added, explaining that there are instructions from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in this regard.

The Lebanese Army shot dead Palestinian Ahmad Qwaider Monday, saying in a statement that he had opened fire on soldiers.

The troops were restoring order in the capital after armed clashes erupted in the wake of last week’s assassination of Brig. General Wissam al-Hasan, the head of the Internal Security Forces Information Branch.

Accompanying Dabbour was Fathi Abul-Ardat, the secretary-general of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon.

He said that Qwaider was unarmed when he was killed while going to work, stressing that Palestinians did not take part in the clashes.

Hariri also received a delegation from Hamas headed by Ali Barakeh, the movement’s representative in Lebanon.

Barakeh assured the Lebanese that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon would only stand by the side of united Lebanon, and oppose being dragged to any confrontation between Lebanese parties. He stressed that Palestinians did not participate in the recent violence in Beirut.

“We oppose using any Palestinian to undermine civil peace in Lebanon,” he said. Also visiting Hariri was a delegation from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 24, 2012, on page 2.




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