Friday, July 21, 2006
This is a report and comment on the current situation in the Lebanon from a Lebanese Orthodox Christian of the Patriarchate of Antioch.
Lebanongrad: 25 days of hell (updated 5th August)
* On Wednesday 12 July, early morning, Israel began its open destructive war against its weak northern neighbour Lebanon.
* On Thursday 13, the Israelis created a land, sea and air blockade around Lebanon.
* From the very beginning, no part of Lebanon was safe: the South, Beirut (i.e. the capital), Mount Lebanon, the North and the Beqaa Valley. Southern Lebanon became a burnt land, and Beirut a levelled land.
* The Israeli Army has a massive arsenal of destruction at its disposal with very advanced technology capable of attack over land, sea, and air. During their current bombing they are using phosphoric and other chemical and other weapons forbidden by international laws.
* They are targeting innocent civilians breaking all international laws and principals of the civilised world and all human conventions. They have already committed carnage and numerous massacres amongst Lebanese civilians. This is an immoral, unjust, inhuman and barbaric war. These are WAR CRIMES.
* The Israeli Army is bombing fiercely the country by land, sea and air. They are systematically destroying the entire civilian infrastructure: airports, ports, bridges, roads, highways, dams, electricity factories, water factories, telephone and mobile towers and cables, petrol stations, food factories, hospitals and infirmaries, ambulances and fire brigades, schools and universities, TV's and radios, etc. In addition, they are also bombing religious places, Christian and Muslim alike, and civilian houses. This is what we call state sponsored terrorism.
* There is a shortage of food, water, medication, shelters, petrol and gas. The water, electricity and telecommunications, have been cut. As a result of this, there is a great fear of disease spreading.
* People are living in great despair, depression, fear, panic and terror. It is a huge tragedy, disaster, and catastrophe. All Lebanese, Christian and Muslim, are hostages under the Israelis’ fire and terrorism.
* This aggressive and fierce bombing is affecting all Lebanese without any exception, Christian and Muslim alike, including the Orthodox Christian community (that belongs to the Patriarchate of Antioch).
* Tuesday 18, at around noon, the Israeli Army bombed - by land and air - the old Orthodox Church of St. George in Rashaiya Fakhar (Hasbaiya, Southern Lebanon) as well as its meeting house, the parish priest house and the Orthodox School with 15 bombs, some of them are phosphoric. It destroyed the southern wall of the church and caused a big fire in it. At that time, many parishioners were hiding and praying with their parish priest asking God’s protection. Ten were burnt and wounded. I have to mention that there was a white flag flying on top of the church.
* Since Wednesday 19, the Israeli Army is trying to invade the country after turning it to a burnt land.
* On Friday 28th July at around noon, the Israeli Air Forces bombed and destroyed the Maronite Catholic Church in Safad Battikh (Southern Lebanon).
* As at 4th August ...
- Thousands of tonnes of Israeli bombs have been dropped on Lebanon every day
- More than 1000 civilians killed, more than one third of them are children (without counting those who are still under the rubble).
- More than 3500 civilians wounded and burnt.
- More than 1,000,000 civilian refugees living in schools, playgrounds, garages, car parks, tents or even in the open air
- More than 200,000 civilians have left the country
- More than 6 billion dollars (approximately 3 billion pounds) has been lost.
* To summarise all that in one word, it is ‘HELL’. From now on you can call Lebanon ‘Lebanongrad’.
The World’s Silence
* The worst of all, ‘the civilised world’ is watching ‘Lebanongrad’ burning; like Nero watching Rome burning.
* On Friday 14, during the Security Council meeting in New York, the US raised a veto against any resolution to condemn Israel. Ever since then, President George Bush has been giving statements that he is against any ceasefire. On Sunday 16, during the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, he repeated the same statement.
* On Tuesday 18, the UK began to evacuate its citizens from ‘dangerous’ Lebanon. The Americans, French, Germans, and other European countries are also evacuating tens of thousands of their citizens stuck there,
leaving behind the Lebanese suffering alone.
* On Wednesday 19, Prime Minister Tony Blair repeated what Bush was saying that he is also against any ceasefire. Ever since then, Mr. Blair has been giving statements that he is against any ceasefire.
* On Monday 24, Mr. Blair described the situation in Lebanon as a "catastrophe."
Hope and Request
* We have a very powerful mass constructive weapon in hand: Prayer.
Please, pray, pray and pray.
Pray that God grant Lebanon and its people the peace from above, protect them, end their suffering and have mercy on them.
* Pray, especially, for our Orthodox Metropolitans and all their clergy, monks and parishioners.
- Elias of Tyre and Sidon (Southern Lebanon)
- Elias of Beirut
- George of Byblos and Botrys (Mount Lebanon)
- Elias of Tripoli and Koura (Northern Lebanon)
- Paul of Akkar (Northern Lebanon)
- Spiridon of Baalbeck and Zahleh (Beqaa Valley)
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