Residents flee fierce clashes in Lebanon’s Ein El Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp


Residents flee Ein El HilwehResidents fled the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon on Sunday as clashes between Palestinian security forces and radical Islamists intensified .

At least six people have been killed and 35 others wounded in clashes inside a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon since Friday, medics say.

The fighting erupted when a joint security force deployed by the main Palestinian factions in Ein el-Hilweh came under fire from radical Islamists.

The factions had told the Islamists, led by Bilal Badr, to disarm.

Local media said gunfire and explosions could be heard on Monday afternoon after a period of calm in the morning.
The official National News Agency reported that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement had rejected a deal proposed by mediators that would have seen Mr Badr allowed to go into hiding if he accepted the joint force.

Established in 1948 near the city of Sidon, Ein el-Hilweh is the largest of the 12 Palestinian camps in Lebanon.
The UN says more than 54,000 registered refugees live there, but one recent estimate put the population at closer to 120,000.

Ein el-Hilweh, which like the other camps falls outside the jurisdiction of the Lebanese security services, has been plagued in recent months by deadly clashes between the various armed groups operating there.

Last week, the largest factions in the camp formed a joint force in an attempt “to bring security to it”, a local Fatah commander told the NNA.

The factions agreed to dismantle the so-called Bilal Badr group, whose members have been accused of sheltering fugitives from the Lebanese authorities and issuing fatwas authorising the killing of people with whom they disagree.
But the force faced resistance as it deployed on Friday night, triggering fierce clashes that involved machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

The fighting prompted the Lebanese army to close the highway next to the entrance to the camp and Lebanon’s health ministry to evacuate patients from the nearby government hospital.




6 responses to “Residents flee fierce clashes in Lebanon’s Ein El Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp”

  1. Niemals Avatar

    The UN tells about 54,000 registered refugees that live there, the recent estimation of the population is about 120,000 – not registered as refugees.

  2. man-o-war Avatar

    “Ein el-Hilweh, which like the other camps falls outside the jurisdiction of the Lebanese security services” yeah, this bullshit has to end. You can’t have safe havens for radical islamic jihadist.

    1. This is another historic mistake the Lebanese leaders committed and goes back to the 1969 Cairo agreement or accord. Based on this agreement the Palestinian refugees – were removed from the jurisdiction of the Lebanese army’s Deuxième Bureau and placed under the authority of the Palestinian Armed Struggle Command, which does not exist any longer .

      Yasser Arafat , Lebanese army commander General Emile Bustani and Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser signed the accord .

      But the interesting part tis that In June 1987 Lebanese President Amine Gemayel signed a law that annuls the Cairo accord . The law repealing the accord was first drafted by former parliament speaker Hussein el-Husseini and approved by the Lebanese parliament on 21 May 1987, and later subsequently signed by former prime minister Salim El Hoss.

      I don’t understand why the Lebanese army until now does not have jurisdiction over the camps ?

  3. what can one expect after 70 years of treating the Palestinians like dirt ?
    Of course Lebanese as always will Blame Israel, but the Palestinians are in Lebanon to stay, they are not going anywhere.
    Lebanon is not the only Arab country that openly enforces Apartheid laws against Palestinians. What is disturbing about the Apartheid laws in Lebanon and the mistreatment of Palestinians by Arab countries is the silence of the media, the international community and human rights groups.
    About three years ago, the Lebanese government decided to amend its Apartheid law that denies Palestinians the right to work in as many as 20 professions.
    Then, Palestinians were told that from then on they would be able to work in many professions and even own property in Lebanon. But now Palestinians have discovered that the Lebanese government, like most Arab countries, has lied to them.
    Although Palestinians have lived in Lebanon for more than six decades, they are still treated as foreigners when it comes to obtaining a work permit.
    the Lebanese government is now using the war in Syria and its impact on Lebanon to avoid abolishing the Apartheid laws. This, of course, is a weak excuse: the anti-Palestinian Apartheid laws have been in effect long before the crisis in Syria erupted.
    Tens of thousands of Palestinians have fled to Lebanon from neighboring Syria over the past two years, providing the Lebanese government with an excuse to avoid implementing the amendment to the Apartheid law.
    The Lebanese, who have always despised Palestinians, are afraid of incorporating them into their economy and workforce. Many Lebanese hold the Palestinians and the PLO responsible for destroying their country, especially during the civil war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
    What is disturbing about the Apartheid laws in Lebanon and the mistreatment of Palestinians by Arab countries is the silence of the international community and media.

    1. may be it is justified

      In 1976, Falestinian Yaser Arafat, FLO leader, in a
      secret meeting with his cohorts near Souk El-Gharb, decided to
      unilaterally open a battlefront against the Christian towns and villages
      in the valley facing Souk El-Gharb and Bmakine, while all the villages
      of the area were fully populated. I was living in my home in Bmakine
      when that happened, but none of the residents were aware that their
      town was made a battle front. Arafat was adamant about remaining in the
      Lebanese mountains and villages, claiming that the liberation of
      Falestine went through every Christian village. His forces, supported
      by Syrian forces and other militia, continued his war with the Lebanese
      Forces. I was stuck at home with grandmother Salma, my mother Lucy, my
      sister Mabel and her daughters, Sandra, Sabrina and Maria with our
      attendant, Nasta. Also hiding in my house were two friends, Raymond
      Hitti, for a while, followed by Faris Baroody. We were confined to the
      safer parts of the house while hell broke loose outside. Falestinian
      forces were using anti-aircraft machine guns immediately beside our
      homes. They fired at the Christian villages in the valley, not to
      mention launching all kinds of missiles and shells. Sleeping for most of
      us older people was impossible from the terror and the loud noises of
      battle, despite near half a bottle of Scotch each and more than 10mg of
      Valium. Finally, Angelle Ayyaash Baroody, the mother of Faris Baroody,
      and a priest from the Monastery of Deir El-Sheer, came to us under fire
      and told us that we should leave. The “devils” that were outside,
      included FLO forces, mercenaries from Libya and probably Somalia, were
      breaking into home and searching for Lebanese Forces sympathizers.
      Consequently, we packed a few of the precious and light (family
      photographs, jewelry, gold and few manuscripts) and escaped to the
      village of Shimlan, aided by Maroof Tymani. We were housed in Shimlan by
      our friend, Muneer Shiblé. FLO forces went in our pursuit because they
      knew of our departure. This made it imperative for us to leave the
      relative safety of Shimlan and drive down through the friendly Druze
      villages to West Beirut were we stayed for a while. Thereafter, we left
      the country temporarily to Kuwait.
      For the record, yes; we all were sympathizers with the
      Lebanese militias, like most Lebanese, yet we did not belong to any
      political parties while the Lebanese government was completely
      paralyzed. At the same time, the FLO and dozens of Falestinian and
      Syrian armed terrorists were kidnapping Lebanese people (mostly
      Christians), taking them to their camps, torturing and killing them.
      They obliterated hundreds of Lebanese towns and villages and massacred
      their people. Western media pick and choose what to mention about the
      Falestinians of Lebanon in their reports specifically when they mention
      the massacres of Sabra and Shateela Camps. They fail miserably to
      mention Falestinian and Syrian atrocities in Lebanon for dozens of
      years. Finally, even today, in 2007, the Falestinian camps in Lebanon
      continue to remain outside Lebanese government sovereignty.
      The two towns changed hands among the Falestinians and
      the Syrians until the Israeli Defense Force uprooted both when they
      occupied the towns in 1982. However, between 1983 and 1992, the two
      towns faced the worse battles of them all. They, “defended” by the
      Lebanese Army, were the axis though which Druze militias and the Syrian
      Army wanted to gain control to the Lebanese Presidential Palace.
      The armies and militias that occupied or “protected”
      the towns looted or destroyed everything they could carry or lay their
      hands on. Most buildings were stripped down to the very stone walls
      because they stole the wooden frames of doors and windows, roofs, brick,
      metal, fixtures, electric equipment, roof tiles, furniture and even
      floor tiles. A video that was shot in what remained of my home showed
      nothing but some standing stone walls and a floor which is almost 2 feet
      (60 cm) deep in rotting books. Yes, that was my father’s more than
      7,000 book collection that included manuscripts and precious books
      dating back hundreds of years. Luckily I had the opportunity to save a
      few, like this Syriac manuscript,
      when I fled years earlier. The massive safe, which we had emptied
      before leaving the house in 1976, was blown open. I would have liked to
      have seen the look on the faces of the savages that dynamited it open
      and found it empty. In recent years, a cousin of my mother was visiting
      an acquaintance whose husband served in the Lebanese Army in Souk
      El-Gharb. She was offered coffee in cups and saucers looted from Hajjar
      Hotel and imprinted with its name. It is probably hard to believe by
      readers but looting went so far as to steal the very stones of my land
      terraces and its walls, not to mention stealing the very fertile soil
      from the land with bulldozers.
      During the war years, the villages were utterly
      destroyed and the population massacred, displaced and dispersed. The
      population, unarmed and unprotected by the government or organized
      militias, were slaughtered like sheep. Some were murdered on the roads
      or in their homes, others died as a result of shrapnel wounds while
      others were kidnapped and tortured. My uncle Robert Khalaf, an
      instructor at the American University of Beirut, School of Engineering,
      was murdered in cold blood in his home. The despicable, savage of a
      coward, shot him through the window of his house, a day after killing
      his dog, in 1977. He was amongst his wife and sons. I am unsure as to
      the identity of the murderer, but rumor has it that he was the son of
      man who worked for my other uncles in their hotel most of his life. Even
      after peace returned, the villages continue to be thinly populated,
      while most of the destroyed homes have not been restored. The
      original inhabitants who did not die during the battles, such as myself,
      either emigrated, died out or else simply moved away and started a new
      life elsewhere.

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