Clashes resume in Ain al-Hilweh camp in Lebanon, killing 3 and wounding 10

Clashes resume in Ain al-Hilweh camp in Lebanon, killing 3 and wounding 10
After a month of calm, fighting has once again erupted in Lebanon's Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp, leaving 3 dead.
2 min read
09 September, 2023
Violence between Palestinian factions has once again rocked Lebanon's Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp

Clashes resumed early Saturday in the largest refugee camp in Lebanon between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah group and militant Islamist groups, killing three people and wounding 10 others

Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati, discussed with Abbas the volatile situation in an attempt to end the fighting.

Mikati called for an end to the fighting saying that what is happening in Ain al-Hilweh “does not serve the Palestinian cause and is harmful to the Lebanese state.”

Sounds of gunfire and explosions could be heard in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp and nearby areas on the edge of the southern port city of Sidon.

The fighting resumed Friday, after a month of creative calm, forcing hundreds of people to flee for safety in nearby areas.

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'Ongoing chaos'

Fatah had accused the militant Islamist groups of gunning down one of their top military officials on July 30 .

At least 20 people were wounded Friday.

The Lebanese army said in a statement that it is taking measures, including contacting several sides, to work on ending the clashes. It also called on people to avoid getting close to areas of fighting.

A Lebanese security official said the three people killed on Saturday included two Palestinians inside the camp and a Lebanese man who was hit with a stray bullet while driving outside Ain al-Hilweh. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said 10 others were wounded.

Senior Fatah official, Maj. Gen. Munir Makdah, refused to discuss the situation inside the camp when contacted by The Associated Press but said Fatah officials in Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories are for a cease-fire and blamed the militant groups for not respecting it.

“There is ongoing chaos. There is no battle but chaos and shooting from a long distance,” Makdah said from inside the camp. 

Lebanon is home to tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their descendants. Many live in the 12 refugee camps that are scattered around the small Mediterranean country.