President Trump’s special envoy Jason Greenblatt with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Tuesday, a day after he met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. During his meeting with the Palestinian Authority leader Greenblatt underline the emphasized its desire to grow the Palestinian Authority’s economy and the growth of the quality of Palestinian life.
At least one man was killed on Tuesday in clashes between Islamist militants and the Palestinian Fatah faction at a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon where a power struggle has fueled days of violence. The Ain el-Hilweh camp, on the outskirts of the southern coastal city of Sidon, has often seen factional disputes spiral into violence. Medical sources said the man killed was a civilian. Three other people, including a child, were wounded. Gunmen from Fatah, the party of West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, have regularly clashed with Islamist militants in the camp, including supporters of Islamic State and al Qaeda. The latest wave of violence began on Feb. 23. The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which aids Palestinian refugees, said it had suspended all services in the camp on Monday and Tuesday because of the violence.Fatah has an agreement with Lebanese authorities to hand over wanted Islamist militants hiding out in Ain el-Hilweh, which is outside Lebanese security forces’ jurisdiction, a security source said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held talks Thursday with President Michel Aoun at the Baabda Palace at the beginning of a three-day visit to Lebanon. After a bilateral meeting between the two leaders, the members of the Palestinian and Lebanese delegations joined the talks. “We agreed to coordinate stances and cooperate in a manner that serves the interests of our two countries and the causes of justice and peace for which we have offered dear sacrifices”, Aoun said at a joint press conference after the talks. “I stressed the importance of President Abbas’ role in preserving the stability of the (Palestinian refugee) camps so that they don’t turn into hubs for those seeking to take advantage of the Palestinian people’s plights” Aoun added, referring to extremist groups. Abbas stressed that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are only “guests”. The Palestinian leader vowed to exert all efforts possible to achieve “their certain return to their homeland Palestine”. Abbas also said the Palestinian factions are committed to preserving security in refugee camps around Lebanon and that they stand against terrorism in all its forms. By long-standing convention, the Lebanese army does not enter the twelve Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, leaving the Palestinian factions themselves to handle security.
Massive controversy and outrage dominated Egypt’s social media outlets on Tuesday following the circulation of statements from a prominent Israeli minister, who claimed on his twitter account that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US president Donald Trump will discuss a plan to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza and the Sinai peninsula and not in the West Bank. The Israeli minister Ayoub Kara added that Netanyahu agreed with him regarding the plan and that he will open discussions with Trump on it. In response to the statements from the Israeli minister, former Egyptian foreign affairs minister Mohammed Al-Orabi asserted that these statements are meaningless and have nothing to do with reality.“These statements should not be considered important by the officials in Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as it does not have anything to do with reality and would be refused by Egypt’s authorities and the international community if they were proposed” Al-Orabi said.