Despite truce, violent clashes resume in Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon

Despite truce, violent clashes resume in Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon

Ain al-Helweh camp near Sidon city has been witnessing clashes since Saturday

By Wassim Seifeddine

SIDON, Lebanon (AA) – Despite a cease-fire agreement, violent clashes resumed in Ain al-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon on Tuesday.

The largest of 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, the Ain al-Helweh camp located near Sidon city, has been witnessing clashes since Saturday. The clashes between Islamic groups and Palestinian security forces affiliated with the Fatah movement left 11 people dead and more than 40 others injured, according to UN figures.

Clashes erupted again on Tuesday despite a cease-fire reached late Monday after communications between Lebanese and Palestinian officials.

The Lebanese army is working to tighten surveillance and inspection at all entrances to the camp and is patrolling its vicinity, asking citizens not to approach the roads leading to the area.

Sidon city was also affected due to some stray bullets and rockets while thousands of people were displaced from their homes in the camp.

Established in 1948, Ain al-Helweh is the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon with 50,000 registered people, according to figures released by the United Nations, while unofficial statistics put the camp’s population at 70,000 people.

The total number of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is estimated at about 200,000, distributed among 12 camps, most of which are under the control of the Palestinian factions.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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