Four people were killed and dozens wounded on Saturday as clashes between Palestinian groups resumed in the Ain al-Hilweh Refugee Camp, the official Lebanese National News Agency reported.
Fighting resumed over the weekend after a month-long ceasefire that ended similar clashes in July.
What Happened in July
Tensions in July escalated following an assassination attempt – blamed on Fatah fighters in the camp – against a leader of a rival Islamist group.
The attempt was followed by an ambush, carried out by alleged Islamists who killed top Fatah commander Abu Sheref el-Armoushi and four of his bodyguards.
After three days of clashes, which killed 11 people and wounded 40 more, the Palestinian Joint Action Committee announced the ceasefire.
‘Vacate UNRWA Schools Immediately’
On Friday, the United Nations called for Palestinian groups at the Ain Al-Hilweh refugee camp to cease fire and leave UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools immediately.
“I urge armed groups to stop the fighting in Ain Al-Hilweh camp and vacate UNRWA schools immediately,” the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon Imran Riza pressed in a statement.
“The entrapments of refugees are manifold,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud wrote in a recent article.
“The actual physical confinement dictated by the lack of opportunities and acceptance in mainstream Lebanese society; the great risks of leaving Lebanon as undocumented refugees smuggled across the Mediterranean, and the feeling, especially among the older generations, that leaving the camps is tantamount to the betrayal of the Right of Return,” Baroud added.
“All of this is happening in a political context, where the Palestinian leadership has completely removed the refugees from its calculations, where the PA only sees the refugees as pawns in a power play between Fatah and its rivals.”
Ain Al-Hilweh had a population of nearly 70,000 people swelled to nearly 120,000, as a result of influx of refugees from Syria since 2011.
(The Palestine Chronicle)