Rival Palestine groups agree to stop fighting in Lebanon refugee camp

A ceasefire agreement between warring Palestinian groups in the Ein El Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon has been reached, Anadolu Agency reported citing a source, a day after fighting wounded 20 people.

A source from the Palestinian Hamas group told AA, on condition of anonymity, that a meeting took place on Friday in the southern city of Sidon between representatives of the Fatah and the Hamas groups.

The source added that pressure was applied on all fighting groups to end the clashes inside the camp and a ceasefire was agreed at the meeting, which has come into effect immediately, although there were some minor incidences.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Joint Action Committee, which represents all Palestinian groups in Lebanon, emphasised in a statement that both Palestinian groups must adhere to their commitment to respect the ceasefire.

Earlier on Friday, the UN called on Palestinian groups to stop fighting and to vacate United Nations Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA] schools immediately.

"I urge armed groups to stop the fighting in Ein El Hilweh camp and vacate UNRWA schools immediately," said Imran Riza, the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon, in a statement posted on its official website on Friday.

Riza stressed in his appeal to the fighting groups that the clashes in the camp and the takeover of UNRWA schools in the camp "threaten children's right to education."

He added that armed groups' takeover of the eight UNRWA schools in the Ein El Hilweh camp prevents "the access of nearly 6,000 children who are about to begin their school year."

The clashes between the Palestinian Fatah movement and other groups erupted again late on Thursday, wounding at least 20 people.

Machine guns and heavy gun shells were used in Thursday's armed clashes in the refugee camp, forcing hundreds of refugees to flee the camp amid heavy fire, according to the Lebanese official news agency NNA.

Deadly fighting

Earlier on July 29, the camp saw heavy clashes between armed groups and Palestinian forces affiliated with the Fatah movement, which left 11 people dead and more than 40 others wounded, according to UN figures.

Established in 1948, Ein El Hilweh is the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, with 50,000 registered people, according to UN figures, though unofficial statistics put the camp's population at 70,000.

The total number of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is estimated to be about 200,000, distributed among 12 camps, most of which are controlled by Palestinian factions.


Source: TRT