Saudi Arabia urges citizens to leave Lebanon as clashes at Ain El Hilweh continue

More than a dozen people, most of them militants, were killed in fighting in the largest Palestinian camp in Lebanon last week

Smoke rises from Ain El Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp during factional clashes in Sidon, Lebanon on July 30, 2023.  Reuters
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Saudi Arabia advised its citizens to leave Lebanese territory and to avoid approaching areas where there have been armed clashes, the Saudi Press Agency said on Saturday.

The Saudi embassy in Lebanon posted the statement on X, formerly Twitter.

The embassy stressed “the importance of adhering to the Saudi travel ban to Lebanon”, the statement said.

The kingdom did not specify which areas in Lebanon that it was advising its citizens to avoid.

Kuwait also issued an advisory early on Saturday calling on Kuwaitis in Lebanon to stay vigilant and avoid “areas of security disturbances” but stopped short of asking them to leave the country, according to a statement by the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry posted on X.

On August 1, the United Kingdom also updated its travel advice for Lebanon, advising against “all but essential travel” to parts of Lebanon’s south near the Palestinian camp of Ain El Hilweh.

At least 13 people, most of them militants, were killed in fighting in the camp on July 29 between mainstream faction Fatah and hardline Islamists, security sources said.

Ain El Hilweh is the largest of 12 Palestinian camps in Lebanon, hosting about 80,000 of up to 250,000 Palestinian refugees countrywide, according to the UN agency for refugees from Palestine.

Updated: August 05, 2023, 5:00 AM