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NGO network calls for an end to war on Lebanon

The Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) calls upon the international community to immediately intervene in order to protect civilians and to end Israeli aggression against Lebanon. ANND joins the call of the Lebanese prime minister to an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire under the support of a strong UN Peacekeeping Mission supervision. From an alive, peaceful, and secure country, Lebanon became a shattered country not able to protect its citizens and cities. Lebanon is in an urgent need for relief support and solidarity in order to face the challenges. 


I hear it from my neighbours and friends, from phone calls coming in from loved ones abroad. I hear it inside my own head. We all just feel so helpless. How exactly does one face indiscriminate attacks from the air, land and sea? A sense of claustrophobia overcame me when all routes out of Lebanon were being cut off, one after the other. I wasn’t even thinking of leaving, but their moves succeeded in making me feel trapped. My solution? Call a friend living abroad - how trapped can I be if I can still communicate with the outside world? As trite as that might sound, it worked. The magic of psychology. 

Four days of bombing in Beirut

For four days straight, since 12 Wednesday at around noon, Israel has been bombing Beirut, the south of Lebanon, parts of the Bekaa and other parts in Lebanon non-stop. It is 12:49 am Sunday morning right now, and in Beirut, Israeli warplanes are bombing successively on an area called Haret Hreik in the southern suburbs of Beirut, and they have just announced that there is a big fire expanding in the whole area. Two things are sure: First, Israel seems determined to continue its terrorizing, brutal and non-human offensive on Lebanon. Second, when Israeli officials say that one of their priorities in their offensives (anywhere, not only in Lebanon) is to make sure not to hurt civilians, this you can reject by following the news of Lebanon. 

Today's war in Lebanon: The latest chapter of the original 1948 conflict

On the morning of Wednesday, 12 July 2006, members of Hizbullah penetrated the Israeli-Lebanese border, conducting a military operation that resulted in the killing of three Israeli soldiers and the abduction of two. Hizbullah demanded the release of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners in exchange for releasing the two abducted soldiers. Since then, Israel has carried a savage military campaign against Lebanon, first under the excuse of retrieving the two soldiers, but now under the excuse of also destroying Hizbullah and making sure that it not operate against Israel, the same excuse it gave about the PLO when it invaded Lebanon in the summer of 1982. 

Our last battle

It feels quite different here than in my home town of El Mreijat, “Bawabet el Beqaa” (The Door to El Beqaa). We heard the bombs quite powerfully there. And several times, we felt them. At the sound of the first bomb that hit quite close to our home (a few kilometers away), my cousin’s youngest son, in mere seconds, went from his strong boyish bravado-demeanor to that of a frightened little boy. He threw his ice cream cone away, and got strong stomach pains. At the sounds of the next bomb, he ran and hid under a table. I wondered how the children in the south and in the southern district of Beirut and in Ba’albeck and in Gaza were withstanding the constant noise and terror. 

Secretary-General's team on the Middle East arrives in Cairo for first leg of peace talks

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s high-level team to the Middle East, which includes his Special Political Adviser, arrived in Cairo today on the first leg of a diplomatic mission aimed at stemming the increasing violence between Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinians. The mission’s first meeting is scheduled with Egyptian Foreign Minister Abu Ghait after which the three-person team is expected to hold discussions with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Amre Moussa, a UN spokesperson said in New York. Annan decided to send the mission following the numerous phone calls he had made with officials around the world about the escalating violence in the region, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters. 

UN team holds talks in Cairo on need to defuse crisis

Aiming to help defuse the current crisis in the Middle East, a three-person team dispatched by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the region held talks today with key Arab countries in Cairo. The Secretary-General’s Special Political Adviser, Vijay Nambiar, who leads the team, and UN senior officials Alvaro de Soto and Terje Roed-Larsen, had meetings on the fringes of the Arab League meeting in Cairo with Oman, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and a representative of the Office of the Palestinian President. The discussions focused on the escalating hostilities in the Middle East – specifically Lebanon, Gaza and Israel, according to UN sources. 

Hundreds displaced by Israeli attacks, say aid workers

Aid workers say that hundreds of people have been displaced from the south of the country and from the suburbs of the capital, all areas which have come under heavy Israeli attack in recent days. While accurate statistics are not yet available, ICRC officials say they have received reports from local sources that an estimated 3,400 people have been displaced from southern villages on the border with Israel, with many residents reportedly fleeing to the nearby city of Tyre. Additionally, some 2,600 internally displaced people – mostly from the outskirts of Beirut and from the south – remain in and around the capital. 

Personal Thoughts From A Besieged Country

Throughout Friday we had only about two hours of electricity in the evening and listening to my girlfriends’ pleas to leave Beirut and come up to the mountain I made it to Rejmeh on Saturday morning. As I mentioned, the day seemed peaceful up there and the mood during lunchtime, when the whole family was gathered, was cheerful and playful. “Don’t worry”, my hosts said, “here in the mountain we are safe from any trouble”. Not for long, though! As my girlfriend and I were visiting in the afternoon the garden of her uncles’ house and playing with the five puppies of their dogs we heard in the distance the sound of planes and bombing once again. 

Waiting is our struggle

Waiting, one might assume, has a negative connotation, i.e., passivity. But this is not true under siege, where waiting embodies resistance. It is resistance despite all the forms of violence we are facing, resistance to all forms of war we are subjected to, not only from the Israelis but also from the deafening silence of the international community. This is a battle of wills, and whoever’s will breaks first will lose. Waiting under siege is steadfastness, and steadfastness is what is needed now.