Clash in Palestinian camp in Lebanon kills 1

Quarrel between family members turns into a pitched battle between opposing Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah.

hamas fatah lebanon 248.88 (photo credit: )
hamas fatah lebanon 248.88
(photo credit: )
A dispute between family members on Monday in a small refugee camp in southern Lebanon escalated into a deadly gun battle between rival Palestinian factions using automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, Palestinian officials said. One person was killed and another wounded in the fighting, which first began when a dispute broke out between Zeidan family members loyal to opposing Palestinian factions - Hamas and Fatah - in the small Miyeh Miyeh Palestinian camp near the southern port city of Sidon, the officials said. The fighting intensified into a larger gun battle between Palestinians affiliated with Hamas and the more moderate Fatah faction, said the officials. Three rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons were used in the 15-minute shootout, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press. Associated Press Television News footage showed smoke rising from one of the camp's neighborhoods, gunmen on the streets and a wall damaged by a rocket-propelled grenade. One Fatah supporter was wounded and later died in the hospital, said the officials. He was later identified as the nephew of the local Miyeh Miyeh Fatah leader. A Hamas member was wounded and later handed over to Lebanese troops stationed outside the camp, they said. Rivalries between Hamas and Fatah members in Palestinian refugee camps have intensified since Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 from Fatah, which controls the West Bank. "We are working to preserve any drop of blood," said Sultan Abul-Einein, a senior Fatah commander in Lebanon who arrived at the camp to try to dissolve tensions. About 400,000 Palestinian refugees and their descendants live in a dozen refugee camps in Lebanon, which were set up for those who fled or were pushed out during fighting around Israel's creation in 1948. Lebanese authorities do not enter the camps, where many factions are armed. Security of the shantytowns is handled by Palestinian committees comprising representatives of the major factions.