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SOUTH LEBANON

Palestinian National Security member killed in Ain al-Hilweh camp

Yassine Aqel who was killed is the son-in-law of the late Abu Ashraf al-Armoushi, the Fatah member who was killed by Islamist militant groups in Ain al-Hilweh last year.

Palestinian National Security member killed in Ain al-Hilweh camp

Yassine Aqel who was killed today. (Credit: Courtesy of Muntasser Abdallah)

Yassine Aqel, a Palestinian National Security member, was fatally shot in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian camp, near Saida in southern Lebanon, on Monday, according to sources in the camp speaking to L'Orient Today. The Palestinian National Security entity in the camp is affiliated with the Fatah faction, which controls the camp.

Aqel was shot with a machine gun and immediately rushed to the Humanitarian Call Hospital within the camp, where he succumbed to his wounds shortly after.

The incident unfolded on Ras Al-Ahmar Street in the Ain al-Hilweh camp, stirring heightened tensions in the area. In response, the Security Committee has initiated efforts to diffuse the situation by engaging in communications between concerned parties.

"The security situation in Ain al-Hilweh camp has become tense following a cowardly and suspicious assassination targeting a member of the Palestinian National Security forces while he was present in the Ras Al-Ahmar neighborhood of the camp, resulting in his immediate martyrdom," Fatah said in a statement following the incident.

"This Zionist terrorist operation comes at the most critical stage of our cause, perpetrated by criminal gangs within the camp," the statement added.

A Palestinian source in Ain al-Hilweh called for an emergency meeting of the Palestinian political leadership at 5 p.m. on Monday to discuss its reaction to the killing of Aqel, according to L’Orient Today’s correspondent in southern Lebanon.

The political leadership is expected to “take bold steps in this regard and strike with an iron hand.”

To try to reduce tensions, several streets and neighborhoods have been closed by the different factions, including the one between the Tawaree neighborhood, where various Islamic factions are concentrated, and the Baraksat area, where Fatah members are stationed.

In September 2023, a week of clashes between Fatah and other Islamic factions, which included Jund al-Sham and al-Shabab al-Muslim, left at least 30 people dead.

The fighting had ignited after the killing of Fatah member Abu Ashraf al-Armoushi, who, according to information obtained from Palestinian sources, was Aqel's father-in-law.

A source in the camp told L'Orient Today that the area experienced minor displacement of residents outside the camp in anticipation of any escalation.

Approximately 54,000 Palestinian refugees live in the Ain al-Hilweh camp — the largest in Lebanon — along with thousands of other Palestinians who fled the war in Syria. The camp is regularly the scene of armed clashes between rival groups.

Yassine Aqel, a Palestinian National Security member, was fatally shot in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian camp, near Saida in southern Lebanon, on Monday, according to sources in the camp speaking to L'Orient Today. The Palestinian National Security entity in the camp is affiliated with the Fatah faction, which controls the camp.Aqel was shot with a machine gun and immediately rushed to the...