Jack Redden, spokesman for the UNHCR, said, "in the area of Byblos, 2,600 people were still homeless, adding that there were 3,400 in Kesrouan and 6,000 in the Metn." Redden then said that "the charity group Caritas estimated that there were still 35,000 homeless people in Beirut."
These figures do not take into account families who have returned to the South or Harek Hreyk, yet reside with family or friends (this category obviously constitutes the majority of Lebanon's new internally displaced population).
I couldn't be angrier. The Israelis definitely dropped the bombs, but Hizballah provided them with exactly what they needed to go through with the bombing campaign. Moreover, the organization created such a false sense of security (their now infamous and imaginary "deterrence capabilities") that had the results not been so cataclysmic, I'd be on the floor laughing my eyes out.
The primary purpose of responsible combatants (i.e. Armies) around the world is to protect the population that provides it with the manpower and resources it needs to exist. Hizballah, on the other hand, appears to exist at the expense of the population that, at the very least, provides it with the manpower it needs.
How does Nasrallah get away with it? Well, much smarter people could probably give you the answer to that question. Maybe this book will help. If it does, come back and tell me - I'd like to know!
Update: Here are some more facts & figures to celebrate (remember, every single one of those numbers has a life and story attached to it):
- Economist Kamal Hamdan forecast that unemployment could more than double from the official level of nine percent before the fighting to as high as 20 percent in the coming months.
- Fellow economist Marwan Iskandar said: "In the short term, over the next six months, 50,000-55,000 people are going to lose their jobs."
- Iskander estimated the number of lost jobs in the industrial sector could climb to 10,000. Another 2,000 retail workers are expected to be laid off as consumption plummets.
- Analysts agree that tourism and services will probably suffer the most... . In high season, 110,000 people are employed in those sectors, and they were looking forward to a record year as the country continued to rebound from its 1975-90 civil war.
- About 1,000 more cafes and restaurants could still close, while around 100 in central Beirut that cater to rich Gulf tourists now operate with reduced shifts, Ariss said.