The Director of Lebanese General Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, has asked the Palestinian factions in Lebanon to unite in order to fight terrorism and the radical agendas that are trying to influence the course of events in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.
General Ibrahim, an influential Lebanese figure who is known for his close ties to Hezbollah, held a special meeting with the leaders and representatives of the various Palestinian factions in Lebanon to discuss the volatile atmosphere, particularly in Ain Al-Hilweh, the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, and the factions’ role in stabilising the situation there.
Al-Rai Al-Youm news site quoted sources on Thursday saying that Hamas representative Ali Baraka suggested forming a committee with representatives from the different Islamic groups to initiate dialogue with the hard line Salafist groups in the Ain Al-Hilweh camp in order to shield the camp from outside divisions. The committee, according to Baraka, ought to include representatives of Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, Ansar Allah, the League of Ansar and Jamal Khattab.
Baraka reportedly had reservations about a proposal by Hassan Zeidan, a Palestinian leader in the camp, who was suggesting for the formation of a strong alliance to physically confront the Salafists groups on the ground. Baraka expressed that he opposes engaging in any street conflict with the groups and prefers to resort to dialogue. When asked by the Lebanese security delegation about the reasons that prevent forming such an armed alliance, Zeidan cited weak financial capabilities.
The Lebanese security delegation also inquired about the Fatah movement’s quest to distance itself from the current divisions in the refugee camps in Lebanon, even though Fatah is being viewed as the Salafists’ prime target. The Lebanese General pointed out that: “In the past, whenever there was a clash, we used to say that members of the Palestinian armed struggle had clashed with Fatah. Today, those who are clashing with Fatah are the Salafists.”