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Southern Lebanon devastated after half year of Hezbollah attacks on Israel

Israeli retaliation strikes destroyed hundreds of homes used by terrorists

Lebanese women walk past rubble of a café that was hit by an overnight Israeli strike in the southern Lebanese village of Naqoura, in 2024 (Photo: STR/dpa Picture Alliance / via Reuters).

The day after Hamas invaded Israel and began the current war, the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah also declared war against Israel in support of the terror group that had just murdered some 1,200 Israelis.

Since Oct. 8, Hezbollah has launched daily attacks against Israeli targets, mostly utilizing launch positions based in civilian areas of the towns and villages across southern Lebanon, using civilians as human shields against Israeli retaliation.

The IDF has responded with waves of airstrikes, tank and artillery fire to target the areas being used to launch attacks toward Israeli territory, devastating large swaths of southern Lebanon in the process.

In recent weeks, reporters from Sky News and the BBC network have accompanied UNIFIL troops on patrols through towns close to the Israeli border. While painting a haunting picture of the widespread destruction, both reports failed to attribute Hezbollah’s use of human shields as a contributing factor.

While some residents have attempted to prevent Hezbollah from using their towns as launch positions, the heavily armed terror group usually gets its way.

Even so, examples like the Christian town of Rmeish, which reportedly has not been impacted by Israeli strikes, unlike neighboring villages, as a result of its residents’ resolute actions, show the relation of the presence of Hezbollah fighters to the destruction wrought on Lebanese towns.

In the BBC's report, Carine Torbey, the BBC Arabic’s Beirut correspondent, lamented that across southern Lebanon, completely unharmed houses could be seen right next to houses reduced to rubble. “This is a pattern we’ve seen as we drove from one town to another,” she said.

What isn’t noted is that this fits with the IDF’s stated policy that it only targets certain buildings being used by terrorists and doesn’t use “scorched earth” tactics targeting wide areas, as some Lebanese politicians alleged.

Israeli airstrikes have destroyed around 1,000 buildings so far, according to Lebanese reports, causing some 100,000 residents of southern Lebanon to flee their homes.

Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati vowed that the government would compensate the residents with $40,000 for each destroyed residential unit, and pay $20,000 to “each martyr’s family,” without specifying if this includes families of the almost 300 Hezbollah terrorists who were killed.

The fighting has also wreaked havoc on agricultural areas. This reportedly resulted from Israeli shells inadvertently sparking brush fires and deliberate use of incendiary munitions aimed at clearing the dense undergrowth in the hilly terrain of southern Lebanon, which Hezbollah often exploits to conceal its infrastructure.

Lebanese farmers are estimated to have lost some $2.5 billion in revenue so far, and southern Lebanon has been turned into a “devastated agricultural area,” Mikati charged.

This weighs all the heavier considering Lebanon's deep economic crisis, which has persisted for years, leading to a growing reliance on local food production.

“Eight hundred hectares have been completely damaged, 340,000 heads of livestock have died, and about 75% of farmers have lost their final source of income,” Mikati said. “This problem will extend to the coming years.”

In the face of this destruction, forces opposed to Hezbollah’s stranglehold have increasingly raised their voices against its cynical use of the country already in dire economic straits.

Samir Geagea, the head of the main Lebanese Christian party, Lebanese Forces (LF), recently castigated Hezbollah’s aggression against the Jewish state as being detrimental to Lebanon.

“No one has the right to control the fate of a country and people on its own,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“What was the benefit of military operations that were launched from south Lebanon? Nothing,” he said, pointing to the death toll and massive destruction in Lebanon’s border villages.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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