A Palestinian security force deployed Friday in a school complex in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp in the country’s south, replacing gunmen who had occupied it since fighting broke out in late July leaving more than 30 people dead.
The deployment raises hopes that a nearly two-week ceasefire can hold at the Ain el-Hilweh camp near the southern port city of Sidon and that school buildings can be restored. On Sept. 14, members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah group and two militant factions, Jund al Sham and Shabab al Muslim, agreed to a cessation of hostilities.
The complex includes eight schools. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has been urging gunmen from various factions who had dug into position in around the compound to evacuate the area ahead of the school year that is supposed to start in early October.
In the afternoon, a security force of 55 armed fighters who had been considered neutral in the recent clashes — from factions including Hamas, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Asbat al-Ansar — took over the badly damaged compound.