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Fatah Officer Shot Dead in Lebanon

Jamil Zeidan, a high-ranking military official from Abbas’s Fatah faction, killed by gunmen in a "refugee camp" in southern Lebanon.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/11/2014, 4:12 AM

Ain el-Hilweh camp in southern Lebanon
Ain el-Hilweh camp in southern Lebanon
Reuters

A high-ranking military official from Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction was killed on Monday by gunmen in southern Lebanon, Reuters reported, citing Lebanese state media.

According to Lebanon’s National News Agency, Brigadier General Jamil Zeidan died in hospital after unidentified assailants shot him in Ain El-Hilweh, the largest camp for people registered as “Palestinian refugees” in the country.

A senior Fatah official confirmed Zeidan's death to Reuters.

Shootings and armed clashes are not uncommon in the camp, which houses about 50,000 people. Fighters supporting the mainstream Fatah party often clash with Islamists, noted Reuters.

Hostilities in the camp have increased as regional tensions rise, with violence spilling over from the civil war in neighboring Syria.

There are thousands of people registered as Palestinian refugees in Israel’s neighboring countries, including Lebanon and Syria, where they have also been caught in the Syrian civil war.

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have limited work options and are refused citizenship.

Lebanon has seen increased sectarian tension since Hezbollah joined the fighting in Syria in order to help Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Hezbollah’s strongholds in Lebanon have been the targets of repeated attacks. Bombings have also hit the mainly Sunni northern city of Tripoli, and ongoing fighting in that city between rival militias supporting different sides in the Syrian civil war have killed scores more.

Nevertheless, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has vowed that his group will continue to fight alongside Assad.