Barely three weeks after the official end of the combat actions, Lebanon finds itself in a state of spacious destruction. Especially the lower social classes in the South of the country are heavily affected. They do not only have to face their destroyed houses like the slowly returning refugees, but under them are also mostly war victims, as they either did not own a car or they could not afford a cab ride out of the embattled war zone due to the inflationary risen prices. Civil aims were largely leveled to the ground in particular besides the massive destruction of the infrastructure. After cautious estimates, more than 30,000 private homes and 900 companies in the South of the country were completely destroyed. Information about the damaged houses is not yet available.
On site, our Cap Anamur team is repeatedly approached by crying people who cannot understand why the Israeli Army attacked residential areas with no strategic significance and why they lost family members and their entire possession when they had nothing to do with the Hisbollah.
Besides that, it is particularly shocking to see that the Israeli Air Force deliberately bombed civil targets with cluster bombs in the last 72 hours before truce, leading to the South of the country being largely mined. The so called “Cluster Bomb Units“ consist of a container filled with hundreds of smaller explosives that already detonate in the air, to reach a stronger scattering action. About one third of this munition, however, does not explode when it hits the ground and remains as a landmine. The explosives are about as big as a Coke can and conspicuous yellow, hence they hold a magic attraction to playing children. At the moment it is estimated that more than 100,000 unexploded mines are scattered across 405 different villages in Lebanon. Only due to this 14 people were killed and far more than 50 were injured until the end of August. The number of victims increases daily. Partly also whole families were injured, as relatives who wanted to save their children got hurt themselves by the deadly ammunition. Up to 200,000 Lebanese cannot return to their homes or use their farmland, as the mines are lying scattered across doorways, roofs and balconies as well as the surrounding areas.
In this regard, Lebanon already has to carry a significant hereditary load. At the withdrawal of the Israeli Army in the year 2000, Israeli soldiers as well as Hisbollah fighters mined the whole frontier.
Under these circumstances, Cap Anamur now concentrates on rebuilding a school for disabled people in Alta Ech Chab, which was occupied by Israeli soldiers for several days during the war.
At their withdrawal, the whole building was destroyed, as well as the entire computer equipment especially adapted to the needs of the disabled plus school material and cash money were stolen. Fortunately the 83 students and the associated teaching staff survived the devastation safely. The committee will emphatically work at enabling them a regulated school life as soon as possible so at least a small piece of normalcy can be given back to them in the destroyed city of Ech Chab.