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Violence at refugee camp in Lebanon leaves 11 dead, forces thousands to flee: UNRWA

Eleven people were killed and another 40 were injured, including a staff member with the UN agency that assists Palestine refugees, UNRWA, said Dorothee Klaus, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, citing reports.

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Two schools operated by the agency sustained damage, and more than 2,000 people were forced to flee in search of safety. 

UNRWA reacts

“In response to the urgent needs for shelter, UNRWA with volunteers opened its schools to accommodate displaced families and is providing basic humanitarian assistance,” said Ms. Klaus, adding that all UNRWA services in the camp have been temporarily suspended due to the violence. 

UNRWA called on all parties to immediately return to calm and take all measures necessary to protect civilians, including children. Armed actors are urged to respect all the agency’s premises and facilities in accordance with international law. 

Ein El Hilweh camp

Ein El Hilweh, the largest Palestine Refugee camp in Lebanon, is located south of the city of Saida. Its inhabitants originally came in 1948, mostly from coastal Palestinian towns. The site also hosts a large number of Palestine Refugees displaced from other parts of Lebanon, particularly from Tripoli, who found shelter there during the Lebanese civil war and in the aftermath of the Nahr el-Bared conflict in 2007.

Security and governance in the camp are the responsibility of Popular Committees and Palestinian Factions. The camp is surrounded by a wall and access for people and building materials is controlled by the Lebanese Armed Forces through checkpoints. 

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