Fierce clashes rock Palestinian camp in Lebanon

Members of the Palestinian Fateh Movement clash with Islamists in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh near the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, April 9, 2017. (File photo by AP)
Updated 19 August 2017

Fierce clashes rock Palestinian camp in Lebanon

SIDON, Lebanon: Palestinian security forces on Saturday battled radical Islamist gunmen in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp near the southern port of Sidon, for the third consecutive day.
The clashes first broke out Thursday when gunmen from the small Islamist Badr group opened fire on a position of Palestinian security forces inside Ain Al-Hilweh camp, a Palestinian source said.
Two people were killed in that fighting.
An AFP reporter said the clashes eased on Friday before intensifying again on Saturday, forcing dozens of families to flee the camp and seek shelter in Sidon mosques.
The sound of fierce gunfire and rocket fire could be heard outside the camp as black smoke billowed over Ain Al-Hilweh, said the reporter.
The fighting shook the Al-Tiri district a few meters (yards) away from a Lebanese army position.
By longstanding convention, the Lebanese army does not enter Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, leaving the factions themselves to handle security.
The Islamist group is linked to Bilal Badr, a militant wanted in connection with “terrorism” who has refused to surrender, according to a Lebanese security official.
In April, his supporters also clashed intermittently for a week with Palestinian security forces, in violence that left nine dead and more than 50 wounded.
A joint Palestinian security force, comprising members of the key Fatah and Hamas factions, has for months strived to rein in Badr fighters.
Ain Al-Hilweh — the most densely populated Palestinian camp in Lebanon — is home to some 61,000 Palestinians, including 6,000 who have fled the war in neighboring Syria.
Several armed factions including extremist groups have a foothold in the camp which has been plagued for years by intermittent clashes.


Yemeni government calls for Iran’s arms embargo to be extended 

Updated 5 min 13 sec ago

Yemeni government calls for Iran’s arms embargo to be extended 

  • A Yemeni minister called to intensify pressure on the Iranian regime
  • He said Tehran’s activities that undermine the security and stability of the region

Yemen’s Minister of Information Muammar Al-Iryani called on the international community and the permanent members of the Security Council to extend the arms embargo previously imposed on Iran.
The Yemeni minister also called to intensify pressure on the Iranian regime. He said Tehran’s “terrorist activities that undermine the security and stability of the region and international peace” must be stopped, state news agency Saba reported on Saturday. 
“The Iranian regime’s continued supply of weapons, experts and funds to the Houthi militia is a flagrant violation of international resolutions related to the Yemeni crisis,” Iryani said. 
Al-Iryani added that the arrest of a Houthi cell for smuggling Iranian weapons and its admission to receiving training in Iran and its association with the Revolutionary Guards is compelling evidence of Iran’s involvement in managing weapons smuggling operations and supporting the Houthi militia.
Al-Iryani indicated that these confessions confirm the Houthi militia's exploitation of the Stockholm Agreement – signed in December 2018 – and its use of the ports of Hodeidah, Saleef and Ras Issa for smuggling Iranian weapons.