In the southern Lebanese city of Sidon, the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp continues to grapple with political contradictions and on-the-ground complexities, preventing the establishment of a decisive ceasefire agreement.
Renewed sporadic clashes persist within the camp, as various factions vie for territorial influence, while Islamic factions seek to exploit the absence of a decisive political stance from “Fatah,” according to a prominent Palestinian source within the camp speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat.
The ceasefire agreement, negotiated by Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) factions on one side and Islamic factions on the other, has failed to hold ground, lacking the political impetus from both Lebanese and Palestinian authorities and the oversight of the Lebanese army.
A meeting was convened, hosted by the national security officer in Lebanon’s south, Col. Suhail Harb, and attended by the Secretary-General of the Fatah Movement Fathi Abu Ardat, and a representative of Hamas in Lebanon, Ahmed Abdul Hadi.
Sporadic clashes have reignited at Ain al-Hilweh, with gunfire extending beyond the camp’s borders, resulting in the death of one individual in the neighboring town of Ghaziyeh, and injuries to two others.
The road connecting Sidon to the south remains closed at the eastern highway due to sniper fire and stray bullets. The casualty toll from the ongoing clashes has risen to three.
As the fighting intensifies within the confines of the camp, political communications have also broadened.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Saturday that he has issued stringent directives calling for a complete and comprehensive ceasefire in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp.
Abbas made this declaration in a statement following a telephone conversation with Lebanese Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, during which they discussed the ongoing events in Ain al-Hilweh.
He emphasized the necessity for all parties to commit to achieving the ceasefire.
According to the statement, Abbas underscored his commitment to “attaining this ceasefire, ensuring that matters are addressed in accordance with Lebanese law and in coordination with the Lebanese state.”