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OPT/Lebanon: Situation Report, 04 Jun 2007

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Heavy clashes erupted between the Lebanese Army and the Jund al-Sham group at the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp in Saida on 3 June 2007. Later in the evening, dozens of Palestinian families living in the camp evacuated to the municipal square in Saida. A relative calm was maintained, but the situation in the camp remained tense and the cease-fire was broken by several new exchanges of fire. At least two Lebanese army soldiers and two Islamist from Jund al-Sham were killed in the overnight clashes at Ein al-Hilweh.

Clashes also continued in Nahr el Bared camp. Fierce clashes raged over the weekend in Nahr el Bared camp between Lebanese troops and Fatah al-Islam elements. Sporadic clashes continued through yesterday night and into Monday morning.

SITUATION BY AREA:

Situation in the north: Heavy clashes and shelling resumed this morning between the Lebanese Army and the Fatah al-Islam elements during the passed two days.

Seven UNRWA staff members are still inside Nahr el Bared. No ambulances have been able to enter the camp since 01 June, in spite of calls from inside the camp for help. Humanitarian situation inside Nahr el Bared is deteriorating. Camp inhabitants suffer from shortage of water from mains, food, electricity and medical supplies. It is estimated that 5,382 families have left the Camp.

In Beddawi Camp, all UNRWA installations (other than schools) are operating normally.

So far, a total of 4487 displaced families are in North Lebanon Area (inside and outside Beddawi).

Situation in central Lebanon area: All UNRWA installations operating normally. A total of 361 displaced families from Nahr el Bared Camp have arrived in Central Lebanon Area (Beirut).

Situation in Beqaa: All UNRWA operations in Beqaa area are functioning normally. A total of 89 displaced families have arrived in the Beqaa area.

Situation in Tyre: All installations operating normally. A total of 184 displaced families from Nahr el Bared Camp arrived to Tyre area. However, tension is very high in Tyre camps also where refugees are fearing a spill over of the fighting between the Lebanese Army and extremists groups. A sound grenade exploded in the night of Saturday to Sunday in an open place. No casualties.

19 families from Ein EL Hilweh camp took refuge in Tyre camps yesterday.

Situation in Saida: All UNRWA installations in Ein al-Hilweh are closed. Schools in Saida town were also closed, but the health centre is operating. It is reported the streets of the camp are deserted and that the tension is very high. Hundreds of refugees fled EIn EL Hilweh camp and took refuge in Saida town and the camps of Mieh Mieh, and Tyre area.

A total of 261 displaced families had arrived to Saida from Nahr el Bared Camp.