New Ceasefire in Ain el-Hilweh after 1 Killed, 6 Woundedإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
One civilian was killed and six were wounded on Tuesday in fierce clashes that rocked Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp for the sixth day before a ceasefire started to take hold in the evening.
State-run National News Agency said the ceasefire got underway around 7:00 pm in Ain el-Hilweh after "all parties pledged to the committee that was formed at Palestine's embassy that they will abide by the truce."
The committee had met with Palestinian National Security chief Maj. Gen. Sobhi Abu Arab in the camp's al-Briksat neighborhood as well as with the leadership of the Usbat al-Ansar group in the al-Sifsaf neighborhood.
The fighting in Ain el-Hilweh near the southern port city of Sidon has pitted Fatah Movement members loyal to dissident official “al-Lino” against hardline Islamist groups led by the militant Bilal Bader.
Even as factions declared a ceasefire from the Palestinian embassy in Beirut, plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the camp on Tuesday afternoon, AFP's correspondent said.
The two groups involved in the fighting were not represented in the meeting, according to media reports.
The sharp crackle of gunfire was partly drowned out by the Muslim call to prayer from nearby mosques in Sidon, where hundreds of people displaced from the clashes had sought refuge.
"A 23-year-old civilian was killed in the fighting," a medical source at the Rai hospital in Sidon told AFP.
"We also treated four people including a young boy who was hit by a stray bullet and who is in critical condition," the source added.
Intermittent fighting broke out on Thursday after Fatah pulled out of a joint committee that maintained security in Ain el-Hilweh, but the violence later intensified, AFP's correspondent said.
Palestinian factions meeting at their embassy in Beirut on Tuesday announced that they had agreed on a ceasefire to end the fighting.
According to state-run National News Agency, the groups said they would re-establish the joint security apparatus.
By long-standing convention, Lebanon's army does not enter Palestinian refugee camps, where security is managed by joint committees of Palestinian factions.
In recent years, tensions have risen between Fatah and the Jund al-Sham Islamist group in the camp.
The U.N.'s Palestinian refugee agency said on Tuesday it had halted all services in the camp for the second day because of the unrest.
"Due to the violent clashes that erupted in Ain el-Hilweh and taking into consideration security considerations, all UNRWA services were suspended yesterday and today," the agency's statement said.
Ain el-Hilweh is an impoverished, overcrowded camp near the coastal city of Sidon, and is home to some 61,000 Palestinians, including 6,000 who have fled the war in Syria.