Lebanon Warns Troops May Intervene if Clashes Continue in Palestinian Refugee Camp

02 August 2023, Lebanon, Ain al Hilweh: A picture shows a deserted street with destruction caused by the heavy clashes inside the refugee camp in Ain al-Hilweh in the Lebanese southern port city of Sidon. Photo: STR/dpa
02 August 2023, Lebanon, Ain al Hilweh: A picture shows a deserted street with destruction caused by the heavy clashes inside the refugee camp in Ain al-Hilweh in the Lebanese southern port city of Sidon. Photo: STR/dpa
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Lebanon Warns Troops May Intervene if Clashes Continue in Palestinian Refugee Camp

02 August 2023, Lebanon, Ain al Hilweh: A picture shows a deserted street with destruction caused by the heavy clashes inside the refugee camp in Ain al-Hilweh in the Lebanese southern port city of Sidon. Photo: STR/dpa
02 August 2023, Lebanon, Ain al Hilweh: A picture shows a deserted street with destruction caused by the heavy clashes inside the refugee camp in Ain al-Hilweh in the Lebanese southern port city of Sidon. Photo: STR/dpa

The caretaker Lebanese prime minister called the Palestinian president on Thursday to demand an end to the volatile situation in Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, warning that the army may have to intervene to stop the dayslong fighting that has left dozens dead and wounded.
The deadly clashes between Palestinian factions in the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp near the southern port city of Sidon have been going on since Sunday, though a tentative calm returned to the camp and surrounding area on Thursday, after a night of renewed clashes.
In his telephone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati called the fighting a “flagrant violation of Lebanese sovereignty. Mikati also said it was unacceptable for the warring Palestinian groups to "terrorize the Lebanese, especially the people of the south who have embraced the Palestinians for many years,” according to a statement released by his office.
The latest fighting in Ein el-Hilweh, which is home to about 50,000 people, has pitted Abbas’ Fatah party against Islamist groups Jund al Sham and Shabab al Muslim. Fatah has accused the Islamists of gunning down a Fatah military general, Abu Ashraf al Armoushi, in the camp on Sunday.

The fighting has so far killed more than a dozen people, wounded many more and displaced thousands.

Dorothee Klaus, director of the UN refugee agency for Palestinian refugees, or UNRWA, in Lebanon said in a statement Thursday that 600 people displaced from the camp are staying in two of the agency's schools, in Sidon and in Mieh Mieh, another nearby camp.
“We have not been able to enter the camp and deliver much needed assistance," she said, noting that some 360 of UNRWA's staff live in the camp, where some were trapped and one was injured in the clashes.
Dr. Riad Abu al-Einein, head of Al Hamshari Hospital near the camp, told The Associated Press that the hospital had received the body of a person who was killed in clashes on Wednesday night, bringing the total number killed in the battles to 13.
If the situation continues, he said, “it will affect not only the families in the camp but all of the people in Sidon, especially as there were several rocket-propelled grenades and gunshots hit residential areas in the city.”
Maher Shabaita, head of Fatah in the Sidon region, confirmed that one of the group’s members was killed in Wednesday night’s clashes.
He said Fatah fighters had defended themselves after the Islamist groups attacked one of Fatah’s centers in the camp, breaking a cease-fire agreement reached Monday, in what he described as part of a “project to destroy the camp and transform the camp into a camp of militants, possibly a camp of terrorists.”
Palestinian factions in the camp have formed an investigative committee to determine who was responsible for Armoushi’s killing and hand them over to the Lebanese judiciary for trial, he said.
The clashes have displaced 20,000 residents, including about 12,000 children, Save the Children said on Thursday.

"We are seeing high numbers of children and families who are experiencing distress and uncertainty given the continued clashes. Many families fled the violence with no time to pack or prepare for displacement," George Jreij, area manager for Save the Children, said.
Some children were separated from their parents and caregivers, he added. Other families were too afraid to leave their homes even though their supplies of food and water were limited.
As the clashes continued over days, some feared they would spill over into neighboring Sidon, a large port city.



Sudan, Iran Exchange Ambassadors after 8-Year Rupture

Al-Burhan received the credentials of the Iranian ambassador (Sovereignty Council website)
Al-Burhan received the credentials of the Iranian ambassador (Sovereignty Council website)
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Sudan, Iran Exchange Ambassadors after 8-Year Rupture

Al-Burhan received the credentials of the Iranian ambassador (Sovereignty Council website)
Al-Burhan received the credentials of the Iranian ambassador (Sovereignty Council website)

The head of the Sovereignty Council, Commander of the Sudanese Army, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, received, on Sunday, the credentials of Hassan Shah, the new Iranian Ambassador in Sudan, after more than 8 years of complete estrangement between the two countries.
In press statements, the Undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hussein Al-Amin, pointed to the “beginning of a new phase of bilateral relations,” and stressed strong ties between Sudan and Iran.
He added: “The President of the Sovereignty Council welcomed the new ambassador of Iran.”
In turn, the Iranian ambassador said that submitting his credentials “comes within the framework of the common consensus between the two countries regarding the exchange of ambassadors and the promotion of bilateral relations.” He added that he would do his “utmost to strengthen cooperation relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Sudan.”
He also noted that his country “supports national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Sudan.”
In October, Sudan announced the resumption of diplomatic relations with Iran following meetings between officials in the two countries, which lasted for months.
The new rapprochement began during talks between their foreign ministers in Azerbaijan, in July 2023, on the sidelines of the meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Non-Aligned Movement.
In June 2016, the government of deposed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced that it was severing its relations with Iran and expelling its ambassador from Khartoum.