Creating new perspectives since 2009

More than 88,000 residents displaced in southern Lebanon: UN

February 15, 2024 at 9:15 pm

A view of wreckage after Israeli airstrike on residential apartment in a three-story building in city of Nabatieh in southern Lebanon, on February 15, 2024. [Houssam Shbaro – Anadolu Agency]

Escalating hostilities in southern Lebanon have displaced more than 88,000 residents, a UN spokesman said Thursday, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We and our partners continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those who have fled their homes, complementing Lebanese government-led initiatives.

“This includes food, health care, cash assistance, education support, and legal protection services for displaced families and support in maintaining water and wastewater treatment systems,” Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.

He added that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that 60,000 people remain in border villages highly affected by exchanges of fire.

“Our ability to provide humanitarian assistance and support to these people is very limited due to security, access and funding issues,” he added.

READ: UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon says attacks against civilians are ‘war crimes’

Humanitarian Coordinator in Lebanon, Imran Riza, said Thursday that a recent surge in hostilities in the south is “extremely concerning.”

“The loss of innocent life is lamentable. The rules of war are clear: Parties must protect civilians and these rules must be upheld. They are not a target,” Riza said in a statement.

At least 39 civilians have reportedly been killed in southern Lebanon in the last four months, according to the UN Human Rights Office.

Tension has flared along the border between Lebanon and Israel amid intermittent exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah, in the deadliest fighting since the two sides fought a full-scale war in 2006.

The border tension comes amid an Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 28,650 victims following a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group, Hamas, on Oct. 7.

READ: Hezbollah says it fired barrage of rockets on northern Israel