Hizbullah is paying to repair the homes of Lebanese householders in border villages which were damaged by Israel after the Gaza war erupted on October 7th.
After the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel was announced last Friday, many of the 20,000 Lebanese villagers reported by the UN to have fled the south returned to check on their homes, businesses, and farms.
Hizbullah lawmaker Hassan Ezzedine told L’Orient Today website that owners of 1,400 homes will be paid compensation in line with estimates reached by engineers.
“Those who live in [damaged] houses in the border villages will get priority, and things like agricultural land and [damaged or destroyed] houses of non-residents will be paid later.”
The intention is to enable residents to return to their homes as soon as the conflict ends, Mr Ezzedine said. Funds are to be provided from Hizbullah’s resources rather than external donors.
To deflect Israel’s firepower from Gaza, Hizbullah mounted limited strikes on northern Israel.
During the exchanges, 86 Hizbullah fighters and 14 Lebanese villagers were killed, while six soldiers and three civilians were killed in northern Israel, where residents have also fled the conflict zone.
On October 12th, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it had verified videos taken in Lebanon on October 10th and Gaza on October 11th showing “multiple airbursts of artillery-fired white phosphorus over the Gaza City port and two rural locations along the Israel-Lebanon border”.
The Israeli army said the accusation that white phosphorus was used in Gaza and Lebanon was “unequivocally false”. Israel had previously employed this incendiary weapon – which is permitted on battlefields only – during its 2008-2009 war on Gaza, where phosphorus shells struck the UN refugee agency compound.
On October 31st, Amnesty International claimed that between October 10th-16th the Israeli army fired white phosphorus shells at Lebanese forests, olive plantations, and built-up areas, injuring nine civilians in the town of Dhayra.
Meanwhile, the ceasefire has led pro-Iranian Shia militias in Iraq and Syria to temporarily halt drone and rocket strikes on US army posts and bases in these countries. Concern has been raised that the attacks could risk regional spillover from the Gaza war. With the aim of pre-empting this possibility, Arab governments have urged that the brief Gaza pause to be transformed into a permanent ceasefire.