Intense Clashes Rock Ain al-Hilweh Camp despite Diplomatic Efforts

Ain al-Hilweh camp witnessed today a series of hit-and-run operations between factions affiliated with “Fatah” and Islamic groups along the Hittin axis.

These confrontations involved the use of machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, with one such rocket landing near the camp’s eastern highway. This highway, which connects the city to the south, has been temporarily closed to vehicular traffic due to the ongoing conflict.

Additionally, several rocket shells exploded over the airspace of Sidon, affecting areas like Darb al-Sim and Sirop. Unfortunately, stray bullets from the skirmishes led to an injury sustained by a civilian named Adnan al-Zaknoun in the Ain al-Hilweh reconstruction area. Furthermore, a vehicle was also struck in the Sidon neighborhood.

A number of Lebanese Army soldiers were injured as a result of a bombshell falling on their post in Jabal Al-Halib, and they were transferred to hospital for treatment while the army responded to the source of fire.

The Army Command had previously warned against targeting army positions during clashes inside Ain al-Hilweh camp, otherwise it would respond to the fire source.

Rocket shells and stray bullets have landed perilously close to areas neighboring the combat zones. An incident on the eastern highway resulted in its temporary closure as a precautionary measure, while a Lebanese citizen in the Taamir Ain al-Hilweh area was injured by stray bullets.

The security situation in Ain El-Hilweh camp remains tense, with sporadic clashes persisting until midnight on Sunday. A brief four-hour pause in hostilities followed, only to resume at four in the morning.

Diplomatic Efforts

These clashes persist despite extensive efforts and high-level diplomatic contacts. Numerous meetings, chaired by Palestinian Ambassador Ashraf Dabour, were held late into the night in an attempt to mediate a resolution.

The confrontations are primarily concentrated in the western axis of the camp, specifically in the Hittin Jabal al-Halib neighborhood.

The repercussions have extended beyond the camp’s borders, with shells impacting nearby areas, resulting in more casualties, material damage, and increased displacement of camp residents toward safer zones within the city of Sidon.

Moreover, several projectiles have overshot the battle zone, landing in the vicinity of the Lebanese University’s southern entrance in Sidon.

Palestinian medical sources have reported casualties among both combatants and civilians involved in the ongoing confrontations within Ain al-Hilweh camp. These individuals have been distributed among Al-Hamshari and Al-Rai hospitals, as well as within the camp itself.

In response to these developments, Major General Elias Al-Bisari, Acting Director General of Public Security, has urgently called for an emergency meeting at the General Directorate’s headquarters. This meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The aim is to address the security situation in Ain al-Hilweh camp, especially in light of the absence of progress from previous negotiations and discussions in quelling the violence.

In a significant development, the municipality of Sidon has dismantled a recently established camp within the city. This camp was set up under the supervision of UNRWA to accommodate Palestinian refugees displaced by the clashes in Ain al-Hilweh camp. Its establishment had sparked political, ministerial, and security concerns regarding the potential long-term implications of such a camp’s presence at the northern entrance of Sidon.

Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General, Sheikh Naim Qassem, expressed his deep concern over the situation unfolding in Ain al-Hilweh camp.

Speaking during the annual general meeting of the Islamic Religious Education Association in Baalbek, Sheikh Qassem emphasized the urgent need for stability in the camps.

He called upon all residents to unite in support of the Palestinian cause and to actively mobilize against the common adversary, the Israeli enemy.


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