The Challenge of Disarming Palestinian Groups

Palestinian armed groups operating within Lebanon may present a challenge for the enforcement of UN Resolution 1701.

Lebanese PM Fuad Siniora requested that Palestinian armed groups in refugee camps within the Litani area disarm according to UN Resolution 1701.

Fatah officer in Lebanon Monir Al-Makdah rejected the demand, claiming that the Resolution was illegitimate, because it failed to mention the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

The Reut Institute contends that UN Resolution 1701 failed to take into account the issue of Palestinian armed groups operating within Lebanon, and that this might affect the creation of a demilitarized zone in Southern Lebanon.

Before the hostilities, Hizbullah constrained Palestinian armed factions located in Lebanon, such as Fatah, Hamas and Asbat Al-Ansar. It is not clear whether the Lebanese Armed Forces or the international force will have the legitimacy and ability to do this as well.

This situation presents also a challenge to the establishment of Lebanese sovereignty over the whole Lebanese territory, and it might enhance existing tensions between the government of Lebanon and the Palestinian refugees.