The assassination of a senior officer of the Fatah movement inside the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in South Lebanon has revived fears over attempts to tamper with Lebanon’s security from inside the Palestinian camps.
Palestinian sources in Ain al-Hilweh stated that unidentified gunmen opened fire and shot Brigadier Saeed Alaeddine al-Asous in the head, while he was visiting a friend inside the vegetable market in the camp. The official was rushed to the hospital, where he passed away.
Fatah leader Mounir al-Maqdah told Asharq Al-Awsat that he toured the camp’s neighborhoods with a number of senior officers in an effort to ease the tensions.
He stressed that the Palestinian factions have agreed to prevent the return of the wave of assassinations in the camps, announcing “full coordination with the Lebanese army intelligence to provide all necessary information to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.”
Al-Maqdah accused Israel of seeking to “meddle with the security of the camps and the whole country at this sensitive time.”
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, a senior security source said that the Lebanese army intelligence in the South “has mobilized all its forces to contain the situation and defuse tensions.”
The source added that the security services started their investigations in cooperation with the Palestinian factions and was reviewing surveillance camera footage for any leads.
Palestinian Central Council member Haitham Zeaiter said the assassination is part of “attempts to ignite intra-Palestinian strife and undermine the calm in Palestinian camps in Lebanon.”
The assassination of al-Asous is “a direct targeting of the camp’s security and the Fatah movement, as well as an open attempt to drag the Palestinian factions into strife and internal fighting,” Zeaiter declared.