BEIRUT — Sixty joint Palestinian security force officers will be deployed Friday to the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp to guard UNRWA schools, reported our correspondent in the area after speaking to political leader of the Ansar Allah faction Ibrahim Jechi. Militants from various factions established bases in the camp's UNRWA schools after the clashes broke out in July. On Monday, a first batch of joint security force personnel was deployed to the camp.
According to Jechi, following Friday prayers, the joint force will deploy near the al-Shabab al-Muslim (Muslim Youth) neighborhood, Hay al-Taware' and in Fatah's Baraksat and Boustan al-Qods neighborhoods.
"No armed fighters will be present in UNRWA schools," by the time the force is deployed, Jechi added, noting that contacts would subsequently be made with UNRWA to repair the schools and start the school year.
Following the clashes in Ain al-Hilweh in early September, UNRWA announced postponing the school year until further notice, as eight of its schools were occupied by Fatah and Muslim Youth fighters.
Palestinian sources believe that the withdrawal of the fighters from the schools "will reflect positively on the camp ... and will enable the security situation there to be strengthened," while waiting for the murderers of Abu Ashraf al-Armoushi, the former head of Palestinian National Security, to be handed over.
The deployment of the joint security force aims to restore stability in the camp, after recent waves of clashes left at least 30 people dead.
The fighting, which most recently resurged between Sept. 7 and 14, pitted Fatah, close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, against Islamist factions that include Jund al-Sham and al-Shabab al-Muslim.
Reporting contributed by Muntasser Abdallah