In the midst of escalating clashes between Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters and the Israeli army, a recent report from the United Nations highlights that approximately 29,000 individuals have been forcibly displaced in Lebanon. This figure, provided by the International Organization for Migration, represents a significant 37% increase since October 23, with most of the displacements occurring in the southern region of the country.
As a result of the ongoing crisis, some of the displaced individuals have sought refuge with relatives in other parts of Lebanon, while others who have the means have been able to secure short-term rental accommodations. However, given Lebanon’s current economic turmoil, which has forced a large portion of the population into poverty, many are left living in makeshift shelters within larger towns in the southern region.
Tragically, the cross-border exchanges of fire have resulted in the loss of at least 58 lives in Lebanon, primarily Hezbollah fighters, but also including four civilians, one of whom was a journalist from Reuters named Issam Abdallah. These deadly clashes have inflicted significant human suffering and underscore the urgent need for a peaceful resolution.
Furthermore, it is important to note that on October 7, Hamas militants infiltrated from the Gaza Strip into Israel, resulting in the deaths of approximately 1,400 individuals, predominantly civilians, and the kidnapping of 229 more, according to Israeli authorities. In response, Israel conducted air and artillery strikes in Gaza, resulting in a devastating death toll of at least 7,326 individuals, including over 3,000 children, as reported by the health ministry in the Hamas-controlled territory. These casualties represent the highest number of fatalities in Gaza since Israel’s withdrawal from the area in 2005.
The situation in Lebanon remains dire as the number of displaced individuals continues to rise amidst ongoing border tensions between Hezbollah fighters and the Israeli army. The United Nations and its agencies, such as the International Organization for Migration, are closely monitoring the situation and calling for immediate action to address the humanitarian crisis.