Deadly Clashes Continue at Ein el-Hilweh Refugee Camp in Lebanon

Deadly Clashes Continue at Ein el-Hilweh Refugee Camp in Lebanon
Photo by Julie Ricard via Unsplash


Mariana Mayor Lima

Middle East and Human Rights Researcher 

Global Human Rights Defence

New deadly clashes broke out in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp Ein el-Hilweh, when a ceasefire agreement was broken by rival Palestinian factions. The camp, which hosts approximately 80,000 people, the majority of whom are Palestinian refugees from the first Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948 and their descendants [1], has been a place of fear and insecurity for those who live there. According to Lebanese state media, National News Agency, on September 9, 2023, at least two people were killed in recent fighting between members of the Fatah movement, a Palestinian political movement that seeks self-determination and the creation of an independent Palestinian state, and an armed group known as the Young Muslims, which broke out again a ceasefire agreement [2].

Al Jazeera correspondent Zeina Khodr, who was outside the Ein el-Hilweh camp, reported that neither side was relenting in the deadly confrontation. [3] Khodr highlighted that efforts to end the fighting have so far failed, with ceasefire agreements repeatedly breaking down. Fatah, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, is demanding that the Young Muslims hand over eight suspects he believes were involved in the murder of one of his senior commanders, Mohammad “Abu Ashraf” al-Armoushi. [4] Furthermore, they call on Young Muslims to leave the positions they held in UN-administered schools within the camp to allow the school year to begin. [5] However, Young Muslims have refused to comply with these demands.

Lebanon’s interim Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, seeks to resolve the fighting and states that what is happening in Ein el-Hilweh “does not serve the Palestinian cause and harms the Lebanese state”. [6] Regarding the Lebanese army, traditionally, the military avoids entering Palestinian refugee camps, leaving security matters in the hands of the factions themselves. However, considering the situation, the Lebanese army is also taking measures to end the clashes and advises the population to avoid combat areas. [7]

Sources and further reading:

[1] Al Jazeera, ‘Deadly fighting erupts in Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon’ (09 September 2023) <>  accessed 12 September 2023.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Al Jazeera, ‘Clashes between Palestinian factions resume in Lebanon’s Ein el-Hilweh camp’ (08 September 2023)

<> accessed 12 September 2023.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Al Jazeera (nº1).

[7] Al Jazeera (nº3).

National News Agency, ‘Clashes renewed inside Ain al-Hilweh camp’ (09 September 2023) <> accessed 13 September 2023.