IDF strikes Hizbullah in Ein el-Hilweh

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 9, 2006 03:59

Two reported killed in strike on Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon.

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An IDF strike targeting the house of a Hizbullah guerrilla reportedly killed two people early Wednesday, according to the army and local witnesses. Lebanese and Palestinian officials said IDF gunboats shelled Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, killing at least one person and wounding three others. According to the officials, the gunboats fired two shells. One landed in the Ein el-Hilweh camp, located on the outskirts of the southern port city of Sidon, and the other slammed into the city's amusement park. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The IDF said the attack on the refugee camp was an air strike, not a naval attack. The strike was the first time IDF forces attacked the camp since the fighting with Hizbullah began more than four weeks ago. Local officials said the casualties in Ein el-Hilweh were caused when the shell crashed into a location manned by camp's Fatah militia headed by Brid. Mounier Makdah, who used to train guerrillas in the camp. Ein el-Hilweh is the largest of Lebanon's 12 Palestinian refugee camps and has witnessed years of bombings, assassinations and shootings as rival factions in the camp vie for control. The camp also is believed to be a hide-out for many fugitives wanted by Lebanese authorities and is a haven for terror groups. The Lebanese army does not enter the camp, but maintains positions at the camp's entrances to keep the guerrillas in check. The camp is home to about 75,000 Palestinian refugees who were displaced by the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and their descendants. Some 350,000 Palestinians live in refugee camps in Lebanon that have developed over the years into shanty towns.


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