It is like the 1980’s all over again for those residents of Beirut old enough to remember the dark days of the civil war. Or indeed the last time Israel’s military might was brought to bear on the city. The southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital are enduring their sixth day of aerial bombardment as Israel seeks to hurt the Hezbollah militia that has been firing rockets into Israel, and has captured two soldiers. Their stronghold is looking like a war zone, with extensive damage to roads, bridges, and apartment blocks. Over 200 people have died in Lebanon, all but 13 of them civilians.
Schools in Beirut have been opened to house refugees, many of whom are being lodged in the city’s Christian districts, but shortages of things like bedding and medical supplies already being felt. In 1982 the Israeli army pounded the city with a ground offensive as well, but the terror being felt by the population is no less this time, with some saying the situation is even worse.