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9 Aug, 2022 17:22

Palestinian official assassinated at Lebanon refugee camp

A member of President Abbas’ Fatah movement was reportedly shot dead while praying at a friend's home
Palestinian official assassinated at Lebanon refugee camp

An unknown gunman shot and killed a Palestinian official mere hours after a fresh truce was called between Gaza militants and Israel on Monday evening, a senior party official said.

Saeed Alaeddine was a member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement and acted as a liaison between the party and Lebanese security services.

He was shot in the head by unknown assailants at Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp, Ain Al-Helweh, near the coastal city of Sidon, Fatah official Mounir Makdah said, according to AFP.

Alaeddine was reportedly shot multiple times and later died from his wounds in hospital. AFP said its correspondent heard further gunshots ring out in the camp following the attack on Alaeddine.

The Ain Al-Helweh camp houses more than 54,000 registered Palestinian refugees, some of whom have fled the conflict in Syria in recent years.

Clashes periodically break out between rival Palestinian militant groups in the facility, where the Lebanese army does not enter, according to long-standing convention. 

The shooting came hours after Israel announced a ceasefire with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) following three days of tit-for-tat airstrikes and rocket attacks, which left the leadership of the PIJ decimated and killed dozens of Palestinians.

On Monday night, PIJ leader Ziyad Al-Nakhala said his militants would not hesitate to take up arms and “resume fighting again” if the terms of the Egyptian-brokered truce were violated by the Israeli side. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid cautioned that if the PIJ violated its terms, Israel reserves the right to “respond strongly.”

The latest round of fighting was set off following the arrest of the PIJ’s West Bank leader Bassem Saadi last week, during which a Palestinian teenager was killed.

On Friday, an airstrike on an apartment block housing PIJ commander Taysir al-Jabari kicked off Israel's ‘Operation Breaking Dawn,’ which saw several of the group's operatives killed. Palestinian officials said 44 people were killed in Gaza over the weekend, though Israel blamed some of the deaths on what it said were failed Palestinian rocket launches.