Shells continue to fall around Tyre in southern Lebanon as it awaits its fate. Most of the 100,000 inhabitants have fled, along with many more from villages who earlier had crowded in to Tyre to escape Israeli bombardments.
Those who remain now are trapped. The port city is completely cut off from the rest of Lebanon by Israeli air strikes that have destroyed the roads and bridges. The Israelis have warned that cars moving south of the Litani river risk being bombed on suspicion of carrying weapons.
Food and water is in critically short supply. Twelve members of the Dhair family are crowded into a house where normally three live. The mother, Tamam, said the adults are used to the sounds of war, but not the children: “I’m not afraid, thank God, but I’m worried about how the children are handing the bombing.” Her husband Hussein voiced the thought: “If Israel would just leave us in peace, we could live in peace with them.” But peace seems a long way off and the frontlines of Israel5;s ground offensive against the Hizbollah militants are much closer.