Residents of Beirut are resigning themselves to a protracted conflict as the Israeli offensive intensifies. Bombardment of the city and the airport as well as a coastal blockade have severely restricted the flow of supplies into the Lebanese capital. One Beirut man says: “I was woken up by a huge bang, my children cried in fear, some were so horrified that they vomited.” In spite of the closure of many shops, people have been stocking up on essential supplies such as candles and water in case power and water supplies are hit.
Talar, a travel agency worker, says: “People have paid for their tickets but the airport is closed and they can’t fly. And we have to suffer from that.” “We can’t find peace in this region,” says this woman. “We have already weathered a civil war, we have lived in foreign countries for a long time. They should just leave us in peace.” Many Beirut residents have fled the city for the nearby mountains. Hotels and the downtown shopping district are virtually empty. It is a setback to reconstruction following the Israeli invasion of 1982 and the 15 year long Lebanese civil war.