Smoke rises from Ain Al-Hilweh refugee camp in Sidon, Lebanon
Smoke rises from Ain Al-Hilweh refugee camp in Sidon, LebanonREUTERS/Aziz Taher/File Photo

Fresh clashes broke out late Thursday in the “Palestinian refugee camp” in south Lebanon that was rocked by deadly fighting just weeks ago, AFP reported.

The fighting in the Ain Al-Hilweh camp once again pitted members of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement against Islamist militants, according to the report.

An AFP correspondent in the southern city of Sidon, where the camp is located, reported the sound of automatic weapon fire and rocket launchers.

Dozens of families with women and children were fleeing from the camp's northern end where the clashes were concentrated, the correspondent added.

Ain Al-Hilweh is notorious for its lawlessness and violence is not uncommon. The UN says about 55,000 people live in the camp.

Thousands of Palestinian Arabs who sought refuge from Syria's civil war have also joined the camp in recent years.

The most recent violence in Ain Al-Hilweh, that began in late July, left some 12 dead and dozens wounded. The violence caused UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”, to suspend all of its services in the camp.

With the renewed clashes, some 200 people took refuge in a mosque on Thursday night, the AFP correspondent said, adding that the Lebanese army had cut off the camp's two northern entrances.

Lebanese residents who are registered as “Palestinian refugees” and their descendants who were born in that country reside in residential neighborhoods known as "refugee camps", have limited work options and are refused citizenship.

Lebanon refuses to naturalize the “Palestinian refugees” and has stressed the need to work for their return to their country of origin, which Palestinian Arabs claim is Israel.