Displaced Lebanese Return To Southern Border To Mourn, Pray Over Eid

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Some displaced residents of southern Lebanon returned on Monday to their towns for a key Muslim holiday to pray and mourn loved ones killed in months of cross-border violence between Israel and Hezbollah.
“Today is Eid al-Adha, but it's completely different this year,” said teacher Rabab Yazbek, 44, at a cemetery in the coastal town of Naqura, from which many residents have fled.
Every family has lost someone,“whether a relative, friend or neighbour,” Yazbek said, adding that two people she had taught had been killed.
Israel and Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese movement allied with Hamas, have traded near-daily cross-border fire since the Palestinian group's October first week storming of Israel.
The violence has killed at least 473 people in Lebanon, most of them fighters but also including 92 civilians, according to an AFP tally. Israeli authorities say at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed in the country's north.
At the cemetery, women in black chadors consoled each other at the shiny new graves adorned with flowers and large pictures of the dead, including Hezbollah fighters. The Naqura municipality said it had co-ordinated with the Lebanese army so that residents could safely visit the cemetery and mosque for two hours for Eid al-Adha, which for many in Lebanon began on Monday. Residents reportedly returned to a number of south Lebanon border villages on Monday morning as part of similar initiatives. Yellow Hezbollah flags and green ones belonging to the group's ally the Amal movement flew at the recently established cemetery near the sea, located just a stone's throw from the UN peacekeepers' headquarters.
Lebanese soldiers accompanied the residents as they entered the town.
The army co-ordinates with the UN peacekeepers, who in turn communicate with the Israeli side as part of efforts to maintain calm. In Naqura, a damaged sign reading“thank you for your visit” lay along the highway.
Amid the concrete rubble and twisted metal of one building, the shattered glass of a family photo lay scattered on the ground. Nearby, potted plants hung from the veranda rails of another devastated structure, with a pink child's toy car among the debris.
Rawand Yazbek, 50, was inspecting her clothing shop, whose glass store front had been destroyed, though the rest remained largely intact.“A thousand thanks to God,” she said, grateful that not all was lost.
“As you can see...our stores are full of goods,” she said, pointing to shelves and racks of colourful clothes.


Gulf Times

Legal Disclaimer:
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.