The heavily shelled districts of southern Beirut resemble a ghost town. Most of the residents of Hizbollah’s heartland have fled the Israeli air strikes. Those that have stayed either lack the means to escape or remain as an act of defiance.
The symbol of this defiance is the omni-present Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
“Hassan Nasrallah, our master, has taught us to resist until the end. If they keep bombing us, we’ll stay. We don’t care.”
“We have not yet used the missiles that can reach Tel Aviv. We have not yet been that nasty. That will come.”
All civilians, Hizbollah or not, have seen their lives turned upside down by the bombings.
“Its difficult to survive. Luckily the people of Hizbollah are helping us”
United by the current turmoil, anger and blame in this part of Beirut are directed squarely at Israel. Hizbollah led reporters into the area to survey the ruins.
“Our captives are in Israeli prisons for 30 years. Nobody attacked Israel then or forced them out. But Israel is destroying Lebanon for two soldiers.”
“You have seen on the ground that this is Israeli democracy. This is happening before the UN, before the security council. Israel initiated its attacks against Israel and must now stop its attacks against civilians.”
As the bombs continue to fall, amid the rubble an eery kind of life goes on in Hizbollah territory.