Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Refugee camp shelled by Israel: report - Breaking News - World - Breaking News

Refugee camp shelled by Israel: report

August 9, 2006 - 9:59AM

Israeli gunboats have shelled Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, killing at least one person and wounding three others, Lebanese and Palestinian officials said.

The shelling was the first time Israel attacked the camp since the fighting between the Jewish state and Hizbollah began more than four weeks ago.

Israeli gunboats fired two shells. One landed in the Ein el-Hilweh camp, located on the outskirts of the southern port city of Sidon, and the other slammed into the city's amusement park, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Israeli military said the attack on the refugee camp was an airstrike, not from the sea, and the target was the house of a Hizbollah guerrilla.

The officials said the casualties in Ein el-Hilweh were caused when the shell crashed into a location manned by the camp's Fatah militia, headed by a brigadier who used to train guerrillas in the camp.

Ein el-Hilweh is the largest of Lebanon's 12 Palestinian refugee camps and has witnessed years of bombings, assassinations and shootings as rival factions in the camp vie for control.

The camp also is believed to be hide-out for many fugitives wanted by Lebanese authorities and is a haven militant groups.

The Lebanese army does not enter the camp but maintains positions at the camp's entrances to keep the guerrillas in check.

The camp is home to about 75,000 Palestinian refugees and their descendants who were displaced by the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Some 350,000 Palestinians live in refugee camps in Lebanon that have developed over the years into shanty towns.


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