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Official: Fatah, PLO have lost control of Lebanon refugee camps
Published Sunday 23/02/2014 (updated) 26/02/2014 10:06
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Fatah movement and the Palestine Liberation Organization have lost control of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, a Lebanon-based Fatah official said on Saturday.

Fatah leader in Lebanon Muneer Maqdah told Ma'an on Saturday that Lebanese authorities told the PLO to adjust the situation in order "to avoid more aggravations" which they warned could have "negative impacts" on the refugee camps and on Lebanon more broadly.

The statement comes two days after a Palestinian was identified as one of the culprits of a double suicide bombing targeting the Iranian cultural center in southern Beirut. Officials are increasingly worried that economic deprivation in the Palestinian camps in Lebanon has laid fertile ground for Wahhabi militant groups.

Asked whether PLO officials have prepared a security plan to neutralize "extremists" in the refugee camps, Maqdah said such plans could be set up in cooperation with Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad when he visits Lebanon.

Maqdah highlighted that al-Ahmad is in charge of the refugee camps in Lebanon, and that a delegation headed by al-Ahmad is expected to visit Lebanon soon in order to address the situation in the camps.

The Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are technically under the control of PLO since a 1969 agreement, and as a result the Lebanese army largely refrains from entering or policing them.

However, Maqdah said that although there were previously 2,000 Palestinian soldiers guarding the Palestinian refugee camps, they have since been integrated into the Palestinian national security forces.

Only 70 guards remain, and all they do is organize traffic in the camps, he said, highlighting that about half of the guards are based in the notoriously violent Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp near Sidon in southern Lebanon.

Meanwhile, 2,000 officers who each receive a salary of $200 a month, are not qualified to keep security and order and prevent chaos in the camps, he added.

There are an estimated 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, and they are denied the right to own property and work in many fields under strict laws established to prevent their naturalization in the country.

Around 800,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes inside Israel during the 1948 conflict that led to the creation of the State of Israel, and today their descendants number around five million, spread across the world.
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1 ) Colin Wright / USA
23/02/2014 11:47
Note that if it weren't for her racist obsessions, Israel could rather easily absorb the 400,000 Palestinians in question -- who are after all from Palestine. This would (a) make the Palestinians happy, and (b) do a lot to stabilize Lebanon. It'd also be just, and help Israel to begin to conform with the conditions she agreed to when she accepted the UN's offer of independence in 1947.

2 ) Helena / Greece
23/02/2014 15:07
Even if Israel had never been created as the sole Jewish State of Israel. These quarrelsome fractious Arab tribes would still be killing and blowing each other up. No wonder the Israelis built their Barrier to separate their schools, hotels, cafes and transport infrastructure from these meddlesome Mohammedans. Helena Greece

3 ) d'Tankerville / France
23/02/2014 15:14
@1 These Arabs cannot even secure a camp, and you want them to have a State with an Army and and an Air-Force?

4 ) HAMAS IS NOW / IN CHARGE
23/02/2014 15:20
AS WILL BE IN WEST BANK WHEN ABBAS GOES

5 ) UN / UNESCO
23/02/2014 15:36
Colin - what are you smoking? Israel does not need Palestinian terrorists, not one Palestinians. Palestinians should stay in Lebanon and Lebanon can easily absorb 450000 Palestinians. Lebanon is responsible for those Palestinian refugees - Lebanon was one of six arab countries which rejected UN partition plan in 1947 and attacked Israel starting first arab-Israel war. As an aggressor and country which started the war, Lebanon is responsible for refugee created during that war.

6 ) J / usa
23/02/2014 16:56
Yes sure blame israel for everything. Palestinians can't even control some tiny refugee camp. How will they be able to control a state? They will lose it within year because they are clueeless and only know how to demonstrate and fire rockets

7 ) Shane L. / USA
23/02/2014 17:00
Arabs, from what was British Mandated Area known as Palestine, should have been absorbed by the Arab countries, just as Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees that were expelled from the Arab countries (at a minimum, equal in number to Arabs refugees). Israel has no obligation to take in the Arabs. To lay this on Israel is morally wrong, when the Arabs have the wealth and where with all to absorb their brethren. The division of the British Mandate was to be Jordan and Israel. Arabs are descriptive.

8 ) Arnold / Canada
23/02/2014 17:36
Colin Wright. #1. If this was your first posting anywhere that I was able to read I would think to myself that "I'll give this person the benefit of the doubt" but I have followed your posts for years so I know where you come from. Israel racist ... probably. Most countries and people do have a touch of racism. But the Arabs / Moslems wrote the book on racism. Long before 1967 and the onset of occupation the Pal Arabs were massacring Pal Jews under the watchful eye of the Grand Mufti. WHY ?

9 ) Lynx / Palestine
23/02/2014 17:40
The Fatah officials should ask themselves, why those Palestinians languising in refugee camps for 65 years are so easily recruited by radical Islamist forces? The answer is easy, neglect, and PLO distraction by the disastrous Oslo Accords. Simply put, when you chose to turn the refugees into a marginal issue, rather than the central issue, your people will disown you. And that they have done, and will continue to do, until you provide leadership.

10 ) Tanias Titz / Germany
23/02/2014 19:17
@1 Just blame the Juice? It's so easy to blame the Middle East and the Islamic worlds problems on Israel isn't it? It always was, and always will be used as an excuse by bigots, Jew bashers and Israel hater.Which category do you and your grandparents come under.

11 ) Johnny benson / USA
23/02/2014 19:33
Colin..forgets to mention the over 800 thousand Jews kicked out of Arab countries with all their property stolen...there was no reason what so ever the Arab countries couldn't absorb their fellow arab Muslims...there was a war....Israel won...if she lost ..there wouldn't be a Jew alive..even dead..as the Arabs made street pavers out of the Jewish tombstones...when they had the chance

12 ) Edward Devotion / USA
23/02/2014 21:23
To say that 800,000 people were "expelled" is factually incorrect. The vast numbers left to escape the conflict or at the behest of their Arab leaders.

13 ) Len Breslow / USA
23/02/2014 21:38
Under the laws the apply to the 100 plus million refugees in the post-war period, descendants of refugees are not themselves refugees. The responsibility for assimilating and settling the Arab refugees from Palestine lies with the Arab countries who violated the 1947 2-state resolution by attacking Israel with the intent to drive all Jews from the region. They caused the refugee problem and they should have taken care of the refugees 60 years ago. Instead, they made refugees of their Jews.

14 ) SAM / USA
23/02/2014 21:46
Note that if it weren't for their racist obsession Lebanon can easily absorb its 400000 so called refugees (most of them left on their accord to make it easier for the Arab legion to exterminate the Jews). By UN definition anyone it the same situation as the Palestinians would not be called refugees having been born and living for over 3 generations in their host countries.

15 ) nobody cares about / Palestinians
23/02/2014 22:12
because they do not care about their own

16 ) Rachamim Dwek / Israel
24/02/2014 20:58
Hahaha Colin cannot do anything but criticise Israel. It doesnt matter who does what to who, in Colin's eyes it will always be Israel. When rational people consider whether Anti Israel Activism ever serves as a beard for blatant Anti Semitism, posts like the one above will convince them that yes, it does. From seeing his omments begging Palestinians to unite to kill more Israelis, or offering pointers on the murder of Palestinians who dare to support Israel, Colin takes the cake.
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