- After a week of violent armed clashes between members of the Fatah movement — which makes up the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank — and Islamist groups in the Ein al-Hilweh refugee camp outside of the Lebanese coastal city of Sidon, a ceasefire was reportedly agreed upon on Thursday. The fighting killed at least 17 people and injured over 100.1
- Local media claimed that Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri spearheaded negotiations to end the fighting. It was also reported that officials from Fatah and Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian political party and armed group that controls the Gaza Strip and also has a presence in Lebanon, met in Beirut in an effort to stabilize the situation.2
- Fatah-aligned Palestinians announced last week that their joint security forces would launch raids against the Islamist militants, with Fatah officials alleging the Islamist groups launched a pre-emptive attack to forestall their goal to push militants out of schools in the camp.3
- The clashes, which originally began in late July, were sparked after a gunman tried to assassinate Islamist militant Mahmoud Khalil, killing his companion instead. Later, Islamist militants assassinated a Palestinian military general and three aides from Fatah, escalating the situation into open conflict.4
- In the most severe clashes seen in the camp in recent years, the July violence left 13 people dead and dozens injured in Ein al-Hilweh. Journalists in neighboring Sidon reported the sound of sporadic gun and rocket fire emanating from within the camp throughout the week of fighting.5
- Ein al-Hilweh, which now hosts tens of thousands of refugees, was established in 1948 to host Palestinians displaced during the establishment of Israel. Due to past agreements with the Lebanese government, the Lebanese army has no jurisdiction over the camps and Palestinian factions are responsible for their security.6
- Narrative A, as provided by Jns.org. This is a failure of the Lebanese government to impose the rule of law and maintain the security and stability of the country — including in the Palestinian refugee camps. Though Lebanon never misses an opportunity to condemn Israel, Palestinians in Lebanon are treated like second-class citizens. Mostly, though, this violence is due to the failure of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, which has been hyper-politicized.
- Narrative B, as provided by Middle east monitor. When the camp was established, it was only intended to offer a temporary solution, not to last for 56 years. Though Palestinians are deeply discriminated against in Lebanon, ultimately, the only reason for their presence in the country is because of Israel. And, at times, international aid also inadvertently compliments Israel's colonial policies toward Palestinians as Tel Aviv prepares to annex even more Palestinian land in the West Bank.