Clashes continued in Ein El Hilweh camp last night despite the announcement of a ceasefire. The situation remains very volatile. Four days of violence in the impoverished Ein El Hilweh Palestine refugee camp in South Lebanon, between Palestinian armed actors has left 13 people killed and over 60 injured. Thousands were forced to flee their homes that have been damaged or destroyed.
“An UNRWA school complex inside the camp, providing education to 3,200 children (outside summer months), was used for the fighting. The nearby city of Saida, the third largest in Lebanon, had shut down, as shelling and artillery fire reached its commercial and residential areas.
“UNRWA, with partners, are currently hosting 600 persons displaced from the camp in two of its schools in Mieh Mieh refugee camp and Saida city and is providing fuel to a hospital operating inside Ein El-Hilweh camp. We have not been able to enter the camp and deliver much needed assistance. A total of 360 UNRWA staff live in the camp. While some were trapped and one was injured, others have fled, with some continuing to work, responding to needs in the camp.
“Refugees of Ein El Hilweh are reliving traumas and shocks. Many have been displaced multiple times in the past decades. UNRWA calls for an immediate cessation of fighting in the camp in order for civilians to get respite and for the Agency to be able to provide assistance and conduct needs assessments. We call for the protection of all UNRWA schools and other facilities at all times, including during the fighting.”
UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.
UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.
UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development. It does this through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.