Report: Fighting with Israel has cost Lebanon $1.2 billion in damages

Damage to roads, agricultural land and infrastructure serve to worsen country's already poor state; international officials warn inaction against Hezbollah would lead to all-out war with Israel

The extent of destruction and damage caused in Lebanon as a result of the four months of the war in Gaza is estimated at around $1.2 billion, UK-based Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported Thursday.
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According to the report, there is currently no plan to resolve this issue, and international officials coming to Lebanon only "demand for Hezbollah's withdrawal from the border area and convey Israeli threats."
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תיעוד לבנוני: מטוסי הקרב של צה"ל מפילים בלונים תרמיים בשטח דרום לבנון
תיעוד לבנוני: מטוסי הקרב של צה"ל מפילים בלונים תרמיים בשטח דרום לבנון
Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon
The damages, the report said, mainly stem from the destruction of infrastructure, roads, buildings, and agricultural lands; additionally, losses of around $300 million were reported due to institutions and businesses closing down.
Residents of villages and towns in southern Lebanon began leaving their homes at the start of hostilities and fighting between Israel and Hezbollah to areas further north considered safer. Some are staying with their relatives, while others are being accommodated in special centers set up and organized for refugees.
A report published by the Arab World Press (AWP) news agency at the end of January, said that according to the International Organization for Migration and the Lebanese Health Ministry, the number of displaced residents from southern Lebanon has reached 83,000 people.
A representative from the Disaster Management Unit in southern Lebanon’s Tyre region told the agency that the number of displaced persons registered in the Tyre district alone has reached 23,419 and that by the end of January, 90% of the residents were evacuated from other border towns.
According to claims in Lebanon in recent weeks, some of the displaced residents have been forced to leave twice, after the towns they moved to also became targets for strikes.
Footage of Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon
Overall, the war in Gaza burdens Lebanon's already difficult economic, political, and social situation in recent years. Last week, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib, said after meeting with the President of the International Red Cross, Miriana Spoljaric-Egger: "We have 100,000 displaced people from the south as a result of the recent events and Israeli strikes, and they are in need of help. Any assistance from the Red Cross will be greatly appreciated."
Additionally, the announcement by many countries about halting their funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has raised significant concern in Lebanon, due to UNRWA providing services to 12 Palestinian refugee camps in the country.
Lebanon fears halting the funding will adversely affect the Palestinian refugees’ conditions and the services provided to them in various topics including education and health.
Due to its continuing troubles, Lebanon receives support and assistance from various bodies in many fields, both diplomatic and economic. Against this backdrop, the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar reported on Thursday that U.S. Congress members have begun a campaign to stop financial aid to the Lebanese army because it "failed to take steps against Hezbollah."
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שלטי חוצות קמפיין בחירות 202עמוס הוכשטיין (L), מתאם נשיא ארה"ב המיוחד לשותפות לתשתיות והשקעות גלובליות, והשליח המתווך על הגבול הימי לבנון-ישראל, קיבל מתנה על ידי ראש ממשלת לבנון נג'יב מיקאטי (R) במהלך פגישתם בארמון הממשלה. בבירת לבנון ביירות2
שלטי חוצות קמפיין בחירות 202עמוס הוכשטיין (L), מתאם נשיא ארה"ב המיוחד לשותפות לתשתיות והשקעות גלובליות, והשליח המתווך על הגבול הימי לבנון-ישראל, קיבל מתנה על ידי ראש ממשלת לבנון נג'יב מיקאטי (R) במהלך פגישתם בארמון הממשלה. בבירת לבנון ביירות2
Amos Hochstein
(Photo: AP)
The congress claims that the stance of the Lebanese government, military and Foreign Ministry, fully align with the terror organization's position. The outlet also quoted American sources opposing the move, claiming that such action is impossible to take because the military is needed in Lebanon.
Meanwhile, efforts continue in order to reach a broad agreement to prevent escalation and full-scale war on Israel’s northern border. Arab media has in recent days published statements denying any meaningful progress toward understanding in the region.
Al-Akhbar quoted sources on Thursday who said discussions on the southern front in Lebanon haven’t matured and will be put on hold for a period, as "the focus is currently on Gaza," according to the report.
The sources added that the Americans "were convinced that any proposal made by Amos Hochstein, President Joe Biden's special envoy, would be unrealistic before resolving the situation in Gaza."
Additionally, Lebanese news outlet Asharq Al-Awsat quoted sources on Wednesday who said Israel and Lebanon had yet to reach an understanding as was previously reported. According to the sources, "these ideas aren’t on the agenda in Lebanon, which has informed international representatives on one proposal only - the implementation of UN Resolution 1701 - and there are no new proposals since the beginning of the crisis."
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תיעוד לבנוני: מטוסי הקרב של צה"ל מפילים בלונים תרמיים בשטח דרום לבנון
תיעוד לבנוני: מטוסי הקרב של צה"ל מפילים בלונים תרמיים בשטח דרום לבנון
Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon
The international representatives, the outlet reported, demanded Hezbollah's withdrawal from the border, with distances varying from representative to representative, and reiterated the need to implement the UN’s resolution. It was added that the messages often end with warnings of a war with Israel if the decision isn’t implemented.
Hezbollah, in its statements, has also maintained its position in recent days that "there is no talk about southern Lebanon until the fighting in the Gaza Strip stops."
Nabil Qaouk, a member of Hezbollah's executive council, said Thursday that the terror organization's stance is shared with the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and "the resistance in Iraq," and that all of them believe that first and foremost, the fighting in Gaza must be stopped.
He added Hezbollah isn’t intimidated by Israel's threats and is prepared for any scenario. According to him, "Israel has not achieved any of its war goals."
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