Fatah official 'assassinated' in Lebanon car bombing

Fatah official 'assassinated' in Lebanon car bombing
2 min read
12 April, 2016
An explosion targeting a local Fatah official has been described as an assassination by Lebanese media.

Lebanon - Sidon - bomb

A Fatah official was killed when a bomb attached to his car exploded in Lebanon's southern port city of Sidon on Tuesday morning.

Fathi Zeidan was killed in the explosion, just outside the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp near Lebanese army positions, witnesses told The New Arab.

"His identification card was found near the car which exploded, which was also his," a source told AFP, adding it was unclear if Zeidan had been in the car at the time.

Burnt body parts were seen lying as black smoke rose above the scene of the explosion.

Several clashes have taken place in recent years in the Palestinian Ain al-Hilweh camp between members of the Fatah movement and the Jund al-Sham Islamist group, who both accuse one another of assassination attempts.

Poverty among the Palestinians in the camp has encouraged Ain al-Hilweh to become a breeding ground for extremist groups and rival armed political factions.

Most recently, desperate demonstrators closed the office of UNRWA's director in the refugee camp, along with clinics and schools operated by the agency, in protest against cuts in camps across Lebanon.

The protests came a day after a 23-year-old man, named as Omar Khudeir, self-immolated outside a clinic due to the healthcare cuts in the Burj al-Shemali camp in Tyre, southern Lebanon. 

Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad also weighed in on the crisis:

"Cutting services by UNRWA is a political decision and part of a conspiracy against the refugees," said Abu Imad al-Rifai, the group's representative in Lebanon.

There are 12 officially recognised Palestinian refugee camps scattered across Lebanon. They are home to around 450,000 refugees, roughly 10 percent of Lebanon's population.