Beirut- Feelings of alienation and nostalgia haunt the Lebanese Youssef Abbas, after he was forced to flee with his wife and child from the Al-Matit neighborhood in the village of Aitaroun in the Bint Jbeil district, directly overlooking Al-Malikiyah, one of the seven villages on which the “Malikah” settlement was established on the southern border of Lebanon.
Abbas and his family have been displaced since the outbreak of the confrontation between… Hizb allah And the Israeli occupation forces, on October 8, 2023, when his brother and his family were on a temporary visit to him before they returned to their residence in Canada.
From day one, Abbas felt that the drums of war were beating, and that staying in their border homes threatened their lives. He told Al Jazeera Net, “For many years, and even after the July 2006 war, we became accustomed to the sounds of enemy aircraft and flares, but this war reminded us that Israel's existence is a curse that haunts us until we die.”
Abbas regrets leaving his home, which he built as the result of 15 years of effort and fatigue, and decided to spend his life in Aitaroun, the village dearest to his heart, where he tends his agricultural nursery and works on plantation and garden projects, but today he has become one of thousands of displaced people from the border villages in southern Lebanon.
While he is unable to check the fate of his home under the horror of raids and missiles, Abbas has become unemployed, and is looking for an alternative close to his current residence in “Bir Hassan” in Beirut. He says, “I feel lost and insecure. We lost our homes, our jobs, and our memories all at once, and we pay the tax for living in our border villages.” “.
82 thousand displaced people
The tragedy of Mustafa Al-Sayed’s displacement seems more severe, as he took refuge from his home in the border village of “Beit Lev” to one of the shelter centers in the Tyre district, after leaving his home with his large family 90 days ago.
The raids caused the destruction of the homes of his daughter and his brother, and Al-Sayed complains to Al-Jazeera Net, saying, “When we see the martyrs of Gaza and the martyrs of our villages, we realize the value of saving our lives, but the bitterness of displacement without our belongings, clothes, and place is harsh, and the aid does not cover our food and health needs, and life darkens in our face, because we do not know when it will end.” the war”.
Israeli aggression has become an established danger Border villages in southern LebanonIt was once replete with picturesque plains, farms, and orchards, but today it is filled with the fragments of a “miniature war,” piles of destruction, and the remains of Phosphorus Who devoured the vegetables of the land, and was devoid of the hustle and bustle of its inhabitants and the movement of its vehicles, except for those belonging toUNIFIL forcesfilled with the echo of missiles, raids, and warplanes.
Over the course of 3 months, more than 82,000 people were displaced from southern Lebanon, according to a report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) issued on Thursday evening, which indicated that an increase in the number of displaced people was recorded by 8% in the period between the second and ninth. From this January.
The report explained that the majority of the displaced, 93%, come from three border districts: 48% from Bint Jbeil, 33% from Marjayoun, and 12% from Tyre. The displaced were distributed among 5 regions, with 31% taking refuge in Tyre, 17% in Nabatieh, 15% in Sidon, 9% in Baabda, 7% in Beirut, and the rest were distributed in other regions.
The International Organization for Migration reports that about 80% of the displaced reside with host families, 17% have rented homes, and 1% have moved to their secondary residences, while about 2% of them (1,100 displaced people) live in 14 collective shelters.
In Tyre, there are 5 collective shelter centers accommodating 758 displaced people, in Hasbaya there are 7 shelter centers hosting 152 displaced people, in Rashaya there is one collective shelter hosting 38 displaced people, and in Sidon there is one collective shelter hosting 153 displaced people, and 37% of the displaced are children. 34% of females and 29% of males.
Tire is at the forefront of the districts that attracted displaced people from border villages. Bilal Qashmar, the media coordinator in the Disaster Management Unit of the Union of Tire Municipalities, says, “The number of displaced people to Tire exceeded about 2,400 displaced people, and the movement increased as a result of the expansion of the strikes on Bint Jbeil, which was hosting, for example, displaced people from Yaroun, Aitaroun, and Al-Adisa.”
In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, Qashmar indicated that the rate of displaced people ranges between 200 and 300 new refugees daily, and that those in shelter centers do not have relatives to host them, alternative housing, or the ability to rent homes.
The Disaster Management Unit seeks to secure some of the needs of the displaced by providing food rations and blankets. Qashmar explains that they have monitored about 10% of the displaced with pictures whose homes have been completely destroyed. He says, “The state’s capabilities are very weak in the field of relief, and in light of the major economic crisis, inflation, and high prices, this displacement puts great pressure on Families and host areas, and there are fears that the war will expand, because we may be unable to respond to all the displaced if their numbers double.”
In early November 2023, the caretaker government issued the “National Emergency Plan,” which aimed to protect citizens from the repercussions of a widespread Israeli aggression, and to provide relief to them in the event of forced displacement from their homes, but its implementation is still faltering, due to the lack of clear sources of funding for it.
Estimates and losses of villages
For the first time yet July 2006 aggressionThe people of the south are experiencing this type of confrontation between Hezbollah and the Israeli forces. The front border villages have become empty of their residents who are recalling painful memories of the war, especially with the death of about 28 civilians.
Two days ago, Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib instructed the filing of a complaint in response to the recent Israeli complaint about Lebanon’s non-compliance with Security Council Resolution (1701), and it included an emphasis on Israel’s hostile operations, including “firing internationally banned phosphorus shells that caused fires in the bush and destroyed 50,000 trees.” Olive,” and the Israeli bombing also extended to some places of worship, schools, and electrical wires.
During the truce following the first round of the war, on November 29, the government approved compensation for those affected physically and financially, and allocated an amount of one thousand billion liras (about 10 million dollars) as the total value of compensation.
Here, the head of the investigation department of the Southern Council (affiliated with the government), Haider Khreis, says that nothing was received from this amount, and he states that “the damage at that time was much less than what was caused by the second round of the war, in which the rules of engagement increased.”
The Southern Council is currently unable to complete the completed surveys until the end of the war, but it monitors the types of damage: total demolition, partial demolition, rehabilitation, restoration, and moderate damage.
Kharis says – to Al Jazeera Net – that their current estimates indicate that more than 245 housing units were completely demolished, including approximately 12 units that were demolished in a single raid on the Baaytroun neighborhood, and the council estimates that there are more than 780 units that were subjected to partial demolition, compared to the presence of about 6 thousand housing units that were subjected to damage. Minor or severe, they monitored the burning and damage of about 25 farms, and the destruction of agricultural machinery, bulldozers, and more than 200 vehicles.
The spokesman stated that they obtain their information daily from the municipalities, and it is likely that the damage will be many times greater than mentioned, due to the difficulty of reaching the front border villages, such as Aitaroun, Aita al-Shaab, Markaba, and others located between the border strip and the Blue Line.