Lebanon: Senior Fatah official shot dead in Ein al-Hilweh refugee camp

Palestinian official Said Aladdin was shot dead in Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp of Ain Al-Helweh, on 8 August 2022 (AFP)

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  August 9, 2022

Palestinian movement said Said Aladdin was shot multiple times by an unidentified man while praying at a friend’s house in the area.

A senior Palestinian official from the Fatah movement was shot dead on Monday evening by an unidentified assailant in the Ein al-Hilweh refugee camp near Sidon in Lebanon.

statement from Fatah, which governs the occupied West Bank, said Said Aladdin was shot multiple times while praying in his friend’s house in Ein al-Hilweh.

Aladdin was hospitalized after sustaining injuries to the head and later succumbed to his wounds.

The assailant fled the scene and had not been apprehended at the time of publishing.

Aladdin held the rank of colonel and was the liaison and public relations officer for Palestinian national security within the Fatah movement.

Also known by his nom de guerre Abu Nader al-Asous, Aladdin was recently tasked with coordinating between Fatah and the Lebanese security agencies in Ein al-Hilweh, the most prominent Palestinian refugee camp in the south of Lebanon. 

Haitham Zuaiter, a member of the Palestinian Central Council, told Lebanese media that “Al-Asous was praying at his friend’s house when he was assassinated, and he was assassinated by those who call in the name of religion. This crime will not go unnoticed”.

Zuaiter added that the timing of the killing had been “in order to drag the country into strife ahead of the Lebanese presidential elections” which are due to be held later this year.

Violence

Prior to the killing, Fatah had raised its alertness in Ein al-Hilweh, which was previously the scene of several armed clashes between Fatah and activists from small armed groups who control streets and neighbourhoods in the camp and had pushed back Fatah activists from some checkpoints in the area.

In September 2021, a battle erupted between Fatah and members of the Jund al-Sham group, in which the two parties used machine guns and medium-sized missiles.

The exchanges took place after Fatah arrested a senior member of Jund al-Sham in the camp while he was passing an area under its control and then handed him to Lebanese army intelligence.

As of 2017, around 80,000 people live in an area of just 1.5 square kilometres in the Ein al-Hilweh refugee camp, according to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).