BEIRUT, Lebanon — Bahrain called on its citizens Saturday to leave Lebanon “for their own safety” hours after Saudi Arabia did the same without giving a reason.
The decision by the two Gulf nations came after days of fighting in the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon between members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah group and fighters for Islamist groups.
The four days of fighting in Ein el-Hilweh camp near the southern port city of Sidon have left 13 people dead, dozens wounded and thousands displaced.
Fatah has accused the Islamists of gunning down a Fatah military general, Abu Ashraf al Armoushi, in the camp on July 30.
Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry said Bahrainis should abide by the government’s previous decisions to avoid travel to Lebanon.
The Saudi embassy in Beirut posted a statement late Friday night on X, formerly known as Twitter, calling on its citizens to avoid going to areas where there are “armed conflicts” and also to leave Lebanon quickly.
On Thursday, Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to demand an end to the volatile situation, warning that Lebanese troops may intervene to stop the fighting.
Mikati called the fighting a “flagrant violation of Lebanese sovereignty,” and said it was unacceptable for the warring Palestinian groups to “terrorize the Lebanese, especially the people of the south who have embraced the Palestinians for many years,” according to a statement released by his office.
The Lebanese army generally doesn’t enter the Palestinian camps, which are controlled by a network of Palestinian factions, and hasn’t taken an active role in the conflict in Ein el-Hilweh.
Palestinian refugees and their descendants are not entitled to Lebanese citizenship, no matter how many generations their families have lived in the country, and don’t receive the same benefits and rights as Lebanese citizens.