Tension high in S. Lebanese Palestinian camps near Tyre after fighting breaks out in Ain Hilwa near Sidon

Lebanese sources report Rashidyeh and Borj al-Shamali camps south of Ain Hilwa are restless after Fatah al-Islam commander Abu Hureira fighting Lebanese forces in the northern camp of Nahr al-Bared threatened to escalate the conflict.
debkafile reported earlier that Beirut Palestinian refugee camps and UNIFIL contingents are also in peril after the Syrian-provoked flare-up spread to spread from the northern camp to Ain Hilwa Sunday night.
Two Lebanese soldiers and 2 al-Qaeda fighters were killed in overnight clashes at Ain Hilwa, after Islamist Jund al-Sham (Army of the Levant) attacked army checkpoints with grenades Sunday night, June 3. Lebanese troops responded with artillery and machine gun fire.
debkafile‘s sources report Jund and pro-Syrian Palestinian factions prepared for the battle by building fortifications and evacuating Palestinian families from preset battle zones.
In the northern camp of Nahr al-Bared near Tripoli, the Lebanese army has for more than two weeks been battling stiff resistance from Fatah al Islam boosted by pro-Syrian groups, such as Ahmed Jibril’s PFLP-General Command.
Two commando units have inched forward 400m into the camp, to a loss of some 50 men, seizing and destroying several Fatah al-Islam positions with the help of tank, artillery, helicopter and gunboat fire. But the Islamists have not been crushed.
The spread of anti-government, Damascus-fomented clashes to the southern camp is a very serious development. It places the Palestinian refugee camps of the capital, Beirut, next in the line of fire – likewise the United Nations contingents policing the Lebanese-Israeli border.
Al Qaeda elements among the Palestinians have repeatedly threatened the international force with attack.
In the southern Ain Hilwa camp, our military sources report Lebanese troops face a coalition of radical Palestinian groups linked to al Qaeda and pro-Syrian terrorist factions, copiously armed with weapons and ammo from Damascus and its Lebanese supporters, including Hizballah which is lurking menacingly in the wings.
debkafile‘s military sources report Syria has lined up this anti-Lebanese government front for an orchestrated campaign of violence to derail the UN Security Council resolution establishing an international tribunal for prosecuting the suspected murderers of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. At the behest of Damascus, the Palestinian and Islamist fighters aim to sow mayhem across the country and mark down UNIFIL and northern Israel as additional targets.

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