Four killed in shooting at Palestinian camp in Lebanon

by Will Tubbs


Four people were killed and others were injured in a shooting on Sunday in the Palestinian camp of Burj al-Shemali in Lebanon, two officials of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas told Reuters, and they blamed the rival movement Fatah for the bloodshed.

Fatah condemned the incident, rejected Hamas’ allegation and urged all sides to wait for the results of an investigation.

The shootings took place during the funeral of a Hamas supporter who was killed in an explosion on Friday night in the camp in the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre.

“Fatah gunmen deliberately opened fire against people taking part in the funeral march,” one Hamas official said, asking not to be named.

Speaking to Reuters in Ramallah by phone from Beruit, the Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon, Ashraf Dabour, rejected Hamas allegations.

“This is a rejected and a condemned action… Investigation committees will reveal who stood behind it,” Dabour said. “We have made contacts with Hamas leaders and demanded they wait for the investigation results.”

Fatah controls the Palestinian Authority that exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Palestinian Authority officials in the West Bank, contacted for comment by Reuters, said they were checking the reports.

Earlier on Sunday, Lebanese state media said two people were killed and seven were injured in a dispute that erupted in the Burj al-Shemali camp.

Hamas said in a statement on Saturday that the blast on Friday night was caused by an electrical fault in a warehouse containing oxygen and gas cylinders for COVID patients, as well as detergents and disinfectants.

A number of armed Palestinian factions, including Hamas and the Fatah movement, hold effective control over roughly a dozen Palestinian camps in the country, which Lebanese authorities by custom do not enter.

(Reporting by Moataz Adbel Rahiem and Nidal al-MughrabiAdditional reporting by Ali Sawafta in RamallahWriting by Ahmad ElhamyEditing by Gareth Jones, Frances Kerry and Barbara Lewis)

Copyright 2021 Thomson/Reuters