Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Marion's latest report: Monday 14th of August 2006

This morning precisely 8am, all Lebanese were awake checking whether the ceasefire would be respected by both Hizballa and Israel. Though both fighting parties said yesterday they will stop their fighting at 8am on Monday, the Lebanese were little worried.

Since morning, hundreds of cars carrying internal refugees were on their way to the south to their villages. I wonder how the Lebanese government agreed to this, especially when southern villages which witnessed heavy fighting are not safe, neither mines nor booby-traps are cleaned up. And indeed, today two cars hit mines on their way back to the south.

Though all Lebanese were relieved the fighting stopped, they are worried this war between Hizballa and Israel - which led to 1200 casualties, 250 000 citizens fleeing Lebanon and more than $6 billion dollars of damage - can again explode any day. Especially when Olmert announced today that Israel will be following Hizballa any place and all the time. In addition, Israel will keep the sea and air blockade on Lebanon, in order to prevent Hizballa receiving weapons and rockets from Syria/Iran.

Hassan Nassralla today showed up on tv, assuring homeless families that they will be paid monthly a sufficient amount of money to get decent homes and furniture until their homes are rebuilt; adding that he won’t wait for the Lebanese government’s long procedures to refund the homeless. So far, around 15,000 homes have been totally destroyed. I wonder where Hassan Nassralla will get the money? Surely from Iran and Syria’s pocket money.

In his speech as well, Hassan assured that there was no way to discuss Hizballa’s disarming before settling the hostage and Chabaa Farms issues. Meanwhile, there is big split within the Lebanese government. A majority want to put Hizballa’s disarming on the agenda as soon as possible, with another that includes the president totally refusing this. So, the fighting has changed from Israel/Hizballa to an internal Hizballa/government one. The majority of the Government that wants Hizballa to be disarmed as quick as possible is mainly concerned that no financial and investment companies will be investing one dollar in Lebanon as long as Hizballa will be armed, and that no safety and security will exist for the citizens. Sunnites, Christians and Druzes support this part of the government while the Shiites think differently.

The situation now can be described as ticking bomb which can explode any day, either again between Hizballa and Israel, or between Hizballa and the Lebanese government.

What is the state of mind and heart of the Lebanese Citizens? Depressed, worried, and scared of the further bleeding of their precious Lebanon.

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