(Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images)
Three members of Hamas were killed on 12 December during a funeral procession in the Palestinian Burj al-Shamali refugee camp in southern Lebanon near Tyre.
The funeral was held following the death of one member, who had been killed from a gas tank explosion in the camp two days prior. The Friday explosion occurred when a facility containing Covid-19 oxygen supplies exploded, following an electrical short circuit.
According to the account given by Hamas officials, members of the Fatah movement opened fire on the funeral procession, killing three Hamas members and wounding six other funeral attendees.
In a recent statement, Hamas held the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in Ramallah responsible for the events stating that “we hold the Authority leadership in Ramallah and their security services in Lebanon fully responsible for the crime.”
The accounts and statements of Fatah officials counteracted these claims, denying that the shooting was carried out by Fatah.
“This is a rejected and a condemned action,” Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon, Ashraf Dabour, told Reuters in a phone call from Beirut.
“Investigation committees will reveal who stood behind it,” the official said, adding that “we have made contact with Hamas leaders and demanded they wait for the investigation results.”
Fatah security has the largest control of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, with some security oversight provided by Hamas as well. By law, armed Lebanese Army soldiers cannot enter or administer the camps.
The Lebanese Army has since reported that the Palestinian security factions have identified and turned in a man ‘accused of the crime.’
“The Intelligence Directorate received from the Palestinian National Security Command in the Al-Buss camp, the Palestinian accused of the shooting that took place this afternoon during the funeral of a Hamas member in the Burj al-Shamali camp, Tyre,” a tweet from the Lebanese Army posted on the night of 12 December read. “The investigation was launched under the supervision of the competent judiciary.”