Lebanon News

Mieh Mieh takes first steps toward becoming weapons-free

Lebanese soldiers patrol the area near the Mieh Mieh Palestinian refugee camp, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

SIDON, Lebanon: Palestinian factions in south Lebanon’s Mieh Mieh Palestinian refugee camp Friday began the process of making the camp weapons-free as part of an agreement reached with the Lebanese Army. The Fatah Movement removed its checkpoint on the southwestern entrance to the camp Friday night, and began withdrawing all its armed personnel from the streets.

Fatah, along with the two other main factions in the camp, the Hamas Movement and Ansar Allah, have notified their members not to hold or use weapons, or roam around in their military uniform.

The current phase of the agreement reached with the Army, which seeks to eventually make Mieh Mieh weapons-free, stipulates that no one in the camp can hold a weapon publicly or wear a military uniform.

Every faction must collect the weapons carried by its members, place them in their respective area and not allow anyone to use them.

Violators of the deal will be subject to arrest by the Lebanese Army, to which the camps have until now been off-limits.

A meeting took place this week in Sidon joining representatives of the Army’s Intelligence Branch and the Palestinian forces in the camp, including Fatah, Hamas and Ansar Allah, a Palestinian source from inside the camp told The Daily Star.

The three factions emphasized their commitment to the agreement and agreed to begin implementing it immediately. The deal followed a series of meetings that began last month to find a permanent solution to tensions in Mieh Mieh.

The camp has been experiencing tensions since October, when clashes broke out between Fatah and Ansar Allah, killing at least five people and injuring 30 more. - Writing by Sahar Houri

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 11, 2019, on page 2.

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