• Monday, October 16, 2023 at 9:40 PM
    Last Update : Monday, October 16, 2023 at 9:40 PM

Thousands Displaced from South Lebanon Villages Fleeing the Exchange of Fire

(AWP) - Jenoub Sweid left her village in southern Lebanon and headed to Tyre in search of a safer place for herself and her children, fleeing the mutual exchange of fire between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, causing damage to civilian homes in the area.

The inhabitant of al-Zahjra village settled into a shelter but signs of shock still haunt her children’s faces as they try to adapt to their new surroundings inside a school in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre.

Jenoub described her family’s situation prior to displacement and their retreat to bunkers to escape the shelling and how her children were traumatised and their health affected.

She says, “On the second day of the war, I took my children to a bunker. We nervously remained there for two and a half hours. The children stayed there. Our neighbour’s house was bombed and destroyed. Our neighbour rushed there amid gunfire and shelling and brought his children here.”

“My nephew’s temperature rises each time he hears bombing. Our children suffer from anxiety and diabetic problems. We are only trying to protect our children,” she added.

Nazmiyeh Sweid, another woman displaced from border villages in southern Lebanon, expressed sympathy with the Palestinians of Gaza who have been subjected to continuous Israeli shelling since last week, resulting in thousands killed or wounded and the destruction of infrastructure.

“We stand with Gaza and may God grant victory to it. God is against the oppressors. Isn’t it deplorable that they were destroying houses with people inside? They [Palestinians] have rights,” she said.

In light of the deteriorating security situation in the south, some of the displaced people found an opportunity to practice their professions in an attempt to get life closer to normal.

“Things could escalate and the economic conditions are tough these days. I work for the local young people,” said Khalil al-Ahmad, working as a barber in the shelters for the displaced.

The wave of displacement has affected many of the border villages, which come under daily shelling since Hezbollah launched an attack on Israeli military posts in Shebaa Farms and Kfarchouba hills last week.

Mortada Muhanna, Chairman of the Disaster Management Committee at the Union of Tyre Region Municipalities, announced the opening of three shelters to receive the people displaced from border villages.

He said, “There are refugees inside three shelters totalling 850 people. We have received 1,160 but some of them left for areas further away. We serve another 802 displaced people in the region as a whole.”

Muhanna added, “We collect data through a team in each village in coordination with the municipalities. There were displaced people sent to safer villages, while 2,500 others were distributed to homes.”

He referred to a plan to accommodate a larger number of displaced people and provide all their needs should the scope of the clashes and shelling widen in the south.

The village of Ayta ash-Shabin southern Lebanon, came under Israeli fire, causing material damage, following Hezbollah’s shelling of northern Israel.

The Lebanese Hezbollah organisation announced it had targeted an Israeli army position with guided missiles in response to the shelling of border villages.