Cars packed with terrified civilians have been fleeing southern Lebanon. White flags flown from car windows show that refugees want no active part in the conflict that is destroying their communities. They just want out. They are leaving behind their homes in the south of Lebanon, trying to reach safer areas in the north or in Syria. It has been twelve days since Israel started its bombardment, in an effort to recover two soldiers captured by Hizbollah. Twelve days which have seen hundreds of civilians die and 500,000 more left without homes.
They were warned to leave by Israel, whose air raids seek to destroy Hizbollah munitions stores often kept in civilian areas. But leaving is almost as perilous as staying behind. Bombs have destroyed roads and bridges. Buses and cars have to ride their luck amid craters and even stray missiles.
One family was not so lucky. A nine year old boy and his one year old brother were in a car hit by an Israeli rocket. Despite the complexities of this conflict, the plight of innocent civilians is plain for all to see.