Sunday, July 16, 2006 2:50 AM
Things are escalating fast. Israel has been bombing non-stop the southern suburb of Beirut. Most people have now become refugees residing in schools, with relatives, and in public parks. The images that we saw on the NBN/City TV network this morning of the damage done in this area were horrendous bringing back similar images to the 1982 invasion with building as tall as six and seven floors being leveled to the ground. They have also targeted most ports (Beirut, Tripoli, Juneih, Tyre, and Amsheet). They also targeted early this morning the power plant and fuel reserve of Jieh which were burned to the ground. They also targeted fire trucks that were trying to put out most of the fires that they started.
In Saida, they targeted the water tanks of the city, but it seems that they were not able to destroy them. In Saida, most stores are already running out of food and water supplies. Yesterday there already started lines and lines at the gas stations as Israel continues to target gas stations and power plants people worry about their ability to find fuel. Electricity is still working every eight hours. However, most of us that have membership in a generator, are worried about fuel running out of these generators. At least with electricity, people follow events and are able to see what is happening. Without electricity, we hear the planes overhead but we are not sure what is going on.
In my email yesterday, I told you about the Al-Marwahiyn town where the residents were turned around from finding shelter with the UN peace keeping mission base (UNFIL). Israel committed a massacre by targeting the buses and cars in which people were trying to flee the city based on their own threats. Over 20 people, many of them children, were all killed. Another such crime took place later during the day in another coastal town near Tyre.
To see images that are horrific, I recommend you check Arabic/Lebanese newspapers. Even if you do not understand the writing, the images do not need explanation. It is an all out war, and as usual the Israeli war machine does not discriminate and aims to kill and destroy. You can check www.assafir.com ; www.annahar.com.lb; www.dailystar.com.lb; http://angryarab.blogspot.com/; http://www.almustaqbal.com/; www.journaladdiyar.com
Unlike the Israeli towns and villages, our buildings and homes are not equipped with bomb shelters and most people have no place to go. The targeting of all the roads cuts everything off. This includes food, medical equipment, the ability of ambulances to rescue victims, and the ability of people to flee to safer areas. My friend who works at the largest hospital in Saida told me of the frustrations in the hospital as the injured are not able to be delivered here in Saida because all the roads are destroyed. Most hospitals in the South are not really that big or that equipped with material to rescue and cure. People relied on the large hospitals in Saida for intensive operations and emergency cases. But so far, they are not able to arrive to the hospital here. As of yesterday, the number of deaths was close to 100 and the injured more. Today we still haven't seen any reporting of the casualties.
Seeing CNN and BBC here it is clear that you are not seeing anything much of the extent of the damage. The international community remains silent. Al-Manar showed demonstrations in various Arab and African countries as well as in Paris, etc... and the poll on Al-Jazeera net indicates that out of 62,000 people who took the poll, 92% believe that Hizbullah's operation is a legitimate resistance operation. Yet, Arab governments including many in the Lebanese government are willing to sacrifice everything and anything towards destroying the resistance. Everyone it seems is conspiring against the resistance. However, the people, all of our peoples everywhere are standing strong with the resistance.
All analysis seems to indicate that this could escalate into an all out regional war with Syria and Iran both involved. This remains to be seen, but they have both issued very strong statements. It is clear that Israel aims to destroy the resistance and these so-called Arab governments are complicit and one can say actively encouraging this process. Is another aim to force a regime change in Syria and to destroy or bomb Iran's nuclear plants? I believe, anything is possible and is on the table.
We are staying put but have prepared ourselves psychologically for the worst.
Zeina M.B. Zaatari, PhD