Flattened and deserted – the village of Qana two days after it was bombed in the biggest single Israeli attack on southern Lebanon. United Nations aid convoys are now arriving to distribute food and medical supplies to those left in the war-torn area. The aid agencies had hoped to take advantage of a supposed 48-hour suspension in airstrikes which Israel failed to honour.
Those that got through arrived in a ghost town. Robin Lodge from World Food Programme: “There is absolutely no sign of civilian population, the people may be hidden or they may be in the surrounding villages. We are told that there are people near here, people who will receive our supplies. The municipal authority will take charge from here.”
While the workers distribute supplies, those who survived the bombings burry their dead. One resident, Mohammed, said aid is not what they want: “The supplies only arrived today but we do not want aid. What we saw here two days ago was proof of a massacre. Thirty seven children killed, around 60 people dead. These aid supplies will not help. We want everyone to unite for a ceasefire.”
The United Nations estimates that around 900,000 people have been forced to leave their homes by the fighting in Lebanon. Getting aid to them is proving a difficult and dangerous operation.