By: Baruch Yedid
“We already knew at the time of the shooting in the Al-Burj Al-Shemali camp in Lebanon that the shooters were Hamas members whose goal was to ignite a conflict in the refugee camps in Lebanon and also threaten stability in the Palestinian Authority,” a PA source told TPS, referring to the shooting incident on Sunday in which three Lebanese camp residents were killed during the funeral of Hamas operative Hamza Shahin, who was killed in a mysterious explosion at a camp warehouse on Friday night.
The blast is believed to have been caused by the explosion of a Hamas weapons cache.
During the incident, Zahar Jabarin was lightly injured. He is one of the leaders of Hamas’ military wing and currently serves as the deputy to Saleh Aruri, the Hamas leader in charge of Judea and Samaria. Jabarin, a senior Hamas member released in the Shalit deal, is the one in charge of funding the “Construction Administration,” which is responsible for Hamas’ military buildup. He took part in Shahin’s funeral, along with other senior Hamas figures, including Hussam Badran and Raza Rishak.
Sources report that Hamza Shain, the Hamas man who died in mysterious circumstances in the camp, is the brother of Muhammad Shahin, a senior member of Jabarin’s “construction directorate.”
The suspicion that Hamas is behind the shooting incident in the camp is explained by the fact that the terror group is trying to divert the criticism in southern Lebanon away from it following what appears to be a “work accident” in one of the weapons caches it built among the civilian population near Tyre.
One of Fatah’s senior figures describes a very violent reality in recent years in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, which includes gun battles between the factions that have become routine.
“The quantities of weapons in the hands of the factions are enormous and there is no possibility of clarifying the affiliation of the shooters because today it is not possible to know who belongs to whom and the loyalties are many and contradictory,” he said.
“Everyone is shooting at everyone,” said a senior Fatah official, adding that Hamas has enormous and superior capabilities compared to Fatah, and that in recent years, it has established in the camps the presence of its military wing, in cooperation with Hezbollah and with the help of large sums of money.
“Hamas has not yet been able to reopen its doors to Syria, from which it was expelled following its support for the Syrian rebels, but its efforts are continuing in that direction and if successful, it could become a significant center of power in Lebanon,” he said.
In recent years, Israel has been monitoring Hamas’ covert activities in Lebanon. In January 2018, an explosion occurred in the car of Muhammad Hamdan, a senior member of the organization, in the city of Sidon. He was lightly injured. Sources in Lebanon claimed that Hamdan, the brother of Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas figure, was the secret liaison between Hamas and Iran in the Sidon area and set up a Hamas military infrastructure under the direction of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). He also serves as Hamas’ liaison with Hezbollah.