Throughout southern Lebanon, a human tide of refugees has been flowing back to the homes they fled. Thousands of vehicles jammed a patched-up, bombed-out coastal highway linking Beirut to the south. Many expressed anger over the destruction and the loss of life. One woman said she could not envisage a lasting peace with Israel: “Israel has destroyed our homes and lands. It killed our children and our sons. It forced us to leave our homes. No, there is no peace with Israel, it cannot be our friend.”
Their villages mostly have no electricity, water or other basic services, but after weeks of sheltering in a school classroom one former refugee said she is happy to be back home: “After one month of suffering now we feel more relaxed. It’s lovely to be able to return to our home.” And asked if she thought Hizbollah had won, she replied: “Of course we won.”
Many of those whose homes have been destroyed said they now expect Hizbollah to come good on a promise to rebuild them.