Thursday, November 2, 2023

Lebanese Villagers Stand Firm Against Israeli Shelling, Defying Land Displacement | TOME


Residents of Lebanese Border Village Vow to Rebuild Despite Israeli Shelling

The border village of Yater in Lebanon has been caught in the crossfire between Hezbollah and Israel. Despite the destruction caused by Israeli shelling, the residents of Yater remain determined to rebuild their town and stay on their land.

Hezbollah, a heavily armed group backed by Iran, has been engaged in daily exchanges of fire with Israeli forces along the frontier since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas. As a result, several homes in Yater have suffered damage, with windows and walls being destroyed. Some residents have been forced to flee north, while others have chosen to stay and rebuild.

One resident, Hiba, a 28-year-old mother, expressed her conviction to remain on her land. Her home was hit by an Israeli shell, but she and her five-year-old son were fortunately not present at the time. Hiba stated, “We were supposed to be here when this shell hit. This house has civilians, it has a child, it wasn’t an abandoned home.” She also mentioned that her son is collecting rocks to rebuild their house, showing his resilience and lack of fear towards Israel.

The determination to rebuild and stay on their land is not new for the people of Yater. In the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s founding, many Palestinians were displaced from their homes and ended up in Lebanon. Despite facing destruction before, residents like Taleb Kaddouh have rebuilt their homes in Yater. Kaddouh returned home one evening to find his house damaged by a shell but remained resolute in his decision to restore it. He defiantly stated, “They (Israel) destroyed this home before and I rebuilt it. I’ll restore it again – I’ll show them.”

While thousands of people have fled Lebanese villages in the south or sought refuge in larger towns due to the ongoing conflict, the residents of Yater refuse to leave their land. For them, this land holds historical significance as it has been passed down through generations. Kaddouh emphasized, “Of course, we will stay here. This land is ours. Our grandparents and parents labored here… My son will do the same. Only death could make us leave.”

The resilience and determination of the people of Yater highlight their unwavering commitment to their homeland. Despite the destruction caused by the ongoing clashes, they remain steadfast in their decision to rebuild and stay on their land. Their refusal to be driven away by Israeli shelling demonstrates their strong connection to their homes and their determination to preserve their heritage.

As the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel continues, it is crucial to remember the human stories behind the headlines. The people of Yater are not just statistics; they are individuals with deep roots and a strong sense of belonging. Their resilience serves as a reminder of the enduring spirit of those affected by conflict and their unwavering commitment to rebuilding their lives, no matter the challenges they face.

In conclusion, the residents of Yater in Lebanon are determined to rebuild their town despite the destruction caused by Israeli shelling. Their unwavering commitment to their land and their refusal to be driven away highlight their resilience and determination. As the conflict continues, it is important to recognize the human stories behind the headlines and support those affected in their efforts to rebuild and preserve their heritage.

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