World Bulletin / News Desk
There are no plans to build a wall around southern Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp, the Lebanese army said in a Friday statement.
The statement came in response to earlier media reports that the Lebanese authorities were building a four-meter barrier around Ain al-Hilweh, Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp.
In its statement, the army insisted it was merely building a "protective fence" around certain parts of the camp with a view to "maintaining the camp’s security and preventing its infiltration by terrorists".
"The issue was already agreed upon during earlier meetings between Palestinian factions and Lebanese military intelligence officials," read the statement.
Earlier this week, reports emerged that the Lebanese authorities had begun erecting a concrete barrier around Ain al-Hilweh.
The reports prompted Gaza-based Palestinian faction Hamas to warn that the project "will only serve to hurt the refugees’ cause… and contribute to the deterioration of their already-dire humanitarian condition".
In a statement, the group went on to assert that the barrier -- if completed -- would represent a violation of international law and human rights, and would likely strain Palestinian-Lebanese relations.
Located southeast of Lebanon’s coastal city of Sidon, Ain al-Hilweh is currently home to more than 100,000 Palestinian refugees, many of whom came to the camp in recent years after fleeing the conflict in next-door Syria.
According to UN figures, roughly 460,000 Palestinian refugees are currently living in 12 major camps scattered across Lebanon.Last Mod: 26 Kasım 2016, 01:18