UNRWA Head Alarmed by Incidents at Two Lebanon Palestinian Camps
Phillipe Lazzarini, the head of the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, has said that he is “very alarmed” by two “major” security developments that happened at two Palestinian refugees camps in Lebanon over the weekend.
On the morning of September 19, protesters from the temporary housing units near the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp broke into the UNRWA construction site office, causing severe damage to the premises and to seven Agency vehicles. No one was injured.
“This incident came in the aftermath of a series of thefts in our installations in the camp over the last few weeks. Palestinian faction leaders condemned the incident and the thefts and pledged their support to ensure these incidents would not occur again,” Lazzarini said in a statement.
On the same day, in the Ain al-Hilweh camp, in the south of Lebanon, fighting between the Fatah and Jund al-Sham armed factions erupted, and fighters “entered four UNRWA schools,” Lazzarini added.
Seven people were injured because of the fighting there, including two civilians in Sidon. Lazzarini said Palestinian faction leaders have condemned the incident and have committed to investigate it.
“I strongly condemn these incidents, which severely undermine the neutrality and inviolability of our premises and put at serious risk the protection and security of Palestine refugees, UNRWA personnel and property. UNRWA is requesting that all parties commit to respect the Agency’s neutrality and the inviolability of its installations at all times and to take all measures necessary to ensure that incidents to the contrary are not repeated,” he added.
Lazzarini also said that he continues to be “extremely concerned” about the deteriorating situation in Lebanon as a whole and its “significant impact on Palestine refugees who were already among the most vulnerable communities.”
“UNRWA is a front-row witness to the immense needs and the high level of poverty among Palestine refugees in Lebanon. The Agency is sparing no effort to advocate for additional support to the Palestine refugee community in Lebanon,” he said.
“In order to continue to deliver critical services, UNRWA needs both additional financial support and full respect for the safety of its personnel as well as for the inviolability of its installations at all times,” he added.