Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has signaled that it’s alright for Palestinians to carry arms – as long as they keep them in the refugee camps.
It reinforces an unspoken agreement dating from the Civil War, but is bound to raises new questions about the Lebanese-Palestinian relationship in the country.
It’s alright for Palestinians in the camps to be at risk from shooting, but not Lebanese.
In the past few weeks the Lebanese police and army have been strengthening their patrols outside the camps, and enforcing the checkpoints scanning everyone’s movements. Since the Civil War, Lebanese authorities have not entered the huge camps, which are still ruled by local mafia groups.
PM Siniora has also met Palestinian leaders from the PLO, and rejectionist groups in a bid to keep arms within the walls of the camps. Some groups have complained that the Lebanese army is imposing a blockade of the camps.
UN Resolution 1559 demands that all Lebanese militia give up their arms – including groups inside the camps.