Hariri Follows Up on Palestinian Refugee Camp Security after Weekend Clashes


Prime Minister Saad Hariri followed up on Monday on the deteriorating security situation in the southern Palestinian refugees camp of Ain el-Hilweh in Sidon.

Hariri received at the Grand Serail a delegation from the Sidon Consultative Gathering that included former PM Fouad Saniora, MP Bahia Hariri, Mufti of Sidon Sheikh Salim Susan, Sidon Mayor Mohammed Saudi, Vice President of the Politburo of al-Jamaa al-Islamiya Bassam Hammoud and its members.

Discussions focused on the political and economic situation in Sidon, and the security situation in Ain el-Helwe camp. They focused on the security arrests in the city highlighting the need to abide by the laws that decide the detentions.

Fierce clashes erupted Sunday afternoon between the secular Fatah Movement and a number of hardline Islamist groups in Ain el-Hilweh.

The fighting was focused on the Sifsaf-Briksat frontier on al-Fawqani street and the sounds of machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades echoed across the city of Sidon.

Cautious calm engulfed the camp in the evening after the national and Islamist Palestinian factions reached a tentative ceasefire agreement under which the gunmen were supposed to be withdrawn from the streets, media reports said.

The clashes had renewed earlier in the day, leaving several people injured.

The Lebanese army meanwhile closed the Ain el-Hilweh entrance that faces Sidon's state-run hospital to preserve the safety of passersby.