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Shooting at Palestinian camp in southern Lebanon kills 3 men, injures several others

An armed Palestinian man patrols near the site of a blast inside the Burj al-Shemali refugee camp for Palestinians outside the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre, on December 11, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

A shooting incident at a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon has killed three men and wounded several others, reports say.

The deadly incident occurred at the Burj al-Shemali camp, outside the port city of Tyre, on Sunday, when people had gathered at the funeral procession of a member of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas who lost his life in a huge blast at the same camp on Friday night.

According to Hamas official Raafat al-Murra, suspected gunmen from the West Bank-based rival Fatah movement “shot at the funeral procession” and killed three Hamas members. He further told AFP that six other people were injured in the shooting.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported that the shooting occurred during a “quarrel” between the two sides and AFP cited a resident of the camp as saying that an armed clash followed the shooting.

On Friday night, a huge explosion rocked the refugee camp, killing at least one man and injuring several others. Hamas on Saturday said in a statement that the blast occurred due to an electrical fault in a warehouse containing oxygen and gas cylinders for COVID-19 patients.

The Gaza-based movement also thanked all medical organizations and ambulance and civil defense crew who have scrambled to extinguish the blaze.

Some 192,000 Palestinian refugees live mostly in the 12 refugee camps that are scattered around the small Mediterranean country, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Many of these Palestinians are descendants of those who fled their homes in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories and the occupied West Bank during the wars of 1948 and 1967 or were later forced to abandon their homes and lands.

By longstanding agreement, the Lebanese army does not enter the camps, leaving security inside to Palestinian movements and factions.

Hamas and Fatah, which is led by President Mahmoud Abbas, have been at odds since 2007, when Hamas assumed control of the besieged Gaza strip.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds, all of which are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East al-Quds as its capital.

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