Escalation of Violence in Palestinian Refugee Camp in Lebanon

The Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon has been engulfed in intense fighting over the past five days, resulting in the death of at least 10 people. The clashes between the Fatah movement and Islamist groups have displaced hundreds of families, with many fleeing the camp. The camp, which is the largest in Lebanon, houses approximately 55,000 registered Palestinian refugees, as well as thousands who have fled the Syrian civil war. The Lebanese security forces do not have jurisdiction over the camp, leaving the maintenance of security to the Palestinian factions residing within. The current escalation is believed to be linked to previous clashes between rival groups in March. The United Nations’ Palestinian refugee agency, Unrwa, has reported heavy weapon use, extensive property damage, and civilian casualties. The Lebanese army has also expressed concern for the safety of their bases located near the camp. The situation remains volatile, and immediate action is required to protect the vulnerable population and restore peace in the camp.