Muhsin Melhem will never forget the tragedy of 12 August. Just two days before a United Nations-brokered ceasefire brought hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah to an end, Israeli jets fired on Al-Haikha Bridge in Akkar, 40 km north-east of Beirut. Melhem’s son Ali, 18, was instantly killed in the air strike. His other two sons, Mohammad, 13, and Ghassan, 27, were severely wounded. “I don’t know how can we survive and overcome this tragedy,” said Melhem when IRIN
first spoke to him on 17 August. Melhem is a poor farmer from the village of Akkar, around 40 km north-east of the capital. He depended on his working sons to support the family.