Israeli army soldiers help evacuate residents from the northern city of Kiryat Shmona near the Lebanon border on October 23, 2023.—AFP/file
Published in Geo News, on Oct 23rd, 2023,
The International Organization for Migration has reported that almost 20,000 people have been internally displaced in Lebanon as a result of escalating violence on the Lebanese-Israeli border, which has intensified following the outbreak of the conflict in Gaza.
The movements of these displaced individuals have primarily been from the south of Lebanon, with some coming from other areas. Simultaneously, Israeli authorities have been evacuating several towns and communities in the north of Israel.
This escalation in violence stems from clashes between Lebanon’s Hezbollah group and Israel. These confrontations along the border are the most severe since the conflict between the two sides in 2006. Many of those who have fled from southern Lebanon have sought refuge in the city of Tyre, located approximately 18 kilometres (11 miles) from the border.
The situation in Tyre is straining both the families hosting the displaced individuals and the government, which is already grappling with a significant economic crisis.
It’s important to note that the economic challenges in Lebanon are exacerbating the difficulties faced by these displaced populations. As a result of the overcrowding in the city and the limited capacity to provide for these individuals, it has created a complex humanitarian situation.
Lebanon’s Tyre has seen a surge in people seeking refuge from the conflict, with around 6,000 individuals having already sought shelter there. To accommodate the displaced, some schools have been used as temporary shelters. However, this presents a challenge as it affects regular school operations, depriving pupils of their educational facilities.
One resident, Yolla Ali al Swaid, who was injured during the shelling near the border village of Dhaira, described the crowded conditions in the city. This overcrowding has led some people to contemplate returning to their homes, despite the risks.
Hezbollah has reported the loss of 27 fighters in the clashes since October 7, while Lebanese security sources have indicated that 11 fighters from Palestinian groups in Lebanon, allied with Hezbollah, have also lost their lives. On the Israeli side, seven troops have been reported killed in the frontier area.