A UN agency has strongly denounced armed violence in the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.
Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said the ongoing violence at the Ain al-Hilweh camp had put civilian lives in danger.
The UN official added that fighting near four UNRWA schools in the camp was “putting at considerable risk the lives of students.”
“As a humanitarian organization we are significantly concerned that armed violence and disturbances taking place in Ain al-Hilweh, where tens of thousands of Palestine refugees live, affects the security, safety and the enjoyment of rights of its residents, including children’s rights to education,” Gunness noted.
The remarks come after an armed person entered UNRWA schools earlier this week -- in contravention of the neutrality and inviolability of United Nations facilities -- and ordered students to leave. The incident prompted the UN agency to close all of its facilities at the camp on Monday and Wednesday.
The Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp, which is located southeast of the port city of Sidon, also houses fighters and militants belonging to various armed groups.
The camp has been scene of violent clashes between members of the Jund al-Sham militant group and the Fatah movement, the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s ruling party, over the past few months.
In September, the Lebanese army confirmed that it had arrested a high-ranking commander of the Daesh group at the site.
Lebanon-based Arabic-language daily As-Safir, citing military officials, reported that the senior Daesh figure, identified as Imad Yassine, was about to carry out a series of attacks aimed at “inflicting the largest number of casualties and hitting the Lebanese economy and tourism sectors.”
The leading Lebanese daily added that Yassine was also planning to fire a barrage of rockets into the Israeli-occupied Palestinian lands.
Lebanon has been suffering from the spillover of militancy in neighboring Syria. Terrorists have been active on the Lebanese areas situated close to the Syrian border.
The extremist fighters operating in the Middle Eastern state have suffered major setbacks over the past few months as the Syrian army, backed by allied fighters, has managed to liberate several strategically important areas.
Eastern state have suffered major setbacks over the past few months as the Syrian army, backed by allied fighters, has managed to liberate several strategically important areas.
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