Esbat al-Nour leader dies of wounds
Daily Star correspondent
Abdullah Shreidi, 24, the leader of the Palestinian faction Esbat al-Nour that
fought the Fatah group for the control of Sidon's Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp two
months ago, has died from severe chest wounds sustained in the fighting.
Shreidi passed away Wednesday at dawn and his death has created unrest in the
camp. A security source within the camp reported high tension between
Palestinian factions, saying all armed factions including the Lebanese Army,
which guards the camp's entrances were on high alert for fear of retaliation
by factions loyal to Shreidi.
Meanwhile, Palestinian factions met at the camp to discuss whether Shreidi
should be buried at a graveyard within the camp or outside it. They decided it
was in everyone's interest to bury Shreidi outside the camp, at the New Sidon
Graveyard in the Sirop area.
Sheikh Maher Hammoud, a prominent cleric in the camp, conferred with several
political and security leaders to ensure Shreidi's funeral procession and burial
would take place without complications.
About 200 Lebanese soldiers were posted on the road from the camp's entrance to
the cemetery. At the army checkpoint east of the camp the funeral procession was
allowed to pass without army inspections.
"They did not identify the dead nor did they make sure there were any weapons
being smuggled out of the camp," sources at the camp said.
Shreidi was buried at around 5pm Wednesday.
Esbat al-Nour is a splinter faction from Esbat al-Ansar, which was originally
formed by the deceased's father, Sheikh Hisham Shreidi. Esbat al-Ansar's current
leader, Abdel-Karim Saadi (aka Abu Mehjan), is wanted in Lebanon and abroad on
several charges of manslaughter.
Abu Mehjan's brother, Abu Tarek, contacted members of Esbat al-Nour following
the death of Shreidi and worked on avoiding any clashes that could destabilize
However, Fatah's commander at the Ain al-Hilweh camp, Maher Shabayta, denied the
possibility of clashes between any factions, saying: "The primary reason for the
clashes was Abdullah Shreidi. Now that he is gone we no longer have any reason
to fight among us."
About a year ago, the Fatah group, the biggest in the camp, blamed a series of
explosions on Shreidi. Fatah strongman Brigadier Sultan Abul-Ainayn then ordered
his fighters to "kill Shreidi, wherever he is found."
Shreidi was ambushed and wounded some two months ago by Fatah while returning
from a funeral. In the ensuing fighting Shreidi's bodyguard, his cousin and four
Fatah militiamen were killed.
Palestinian Islamic forces commander Sheikh Jamal Khattab said at Shreidi's
burial, "We have footed the bill beforehand and Shreidi's death is part of that
bill . logic demands we cross this hurdle because in the end we are all losers."