Southern Lebanon: Residents torn between staying and fleeing
Unlike Gaza, no major escalation has happened in southern Lebanon as of now. But thousands of people have still decided to leave, while a few prefer to stay.
Lebanese families left in the unknown
Many Lebanese families from the border region have fled to other parts of the country for fear of an escalation or have been evacuated from potential combat zones. In this photo, Fatima plays in the shade of a car outside a school that is now being used as a refugee camp.
Syrian refugees worry about fleeing once more
Ali and his family from Syria fled to the Lebanese village of Bint Jbeil near the border with Israel. His family hopes they won't have to experience another war. According to estimates, around 1.5 million Syrian refugees live in Lebanon. Complaints of discrimination against them are increasing against the backdrop of the ongoing economic crisis.
Zainab and her feline friends
Zainab's family lives next to the Israeli border on an olive grove. Despite several military clashes between Israel's army and Hezbollah, which is categorized as a terrorist group by many countries, the family does not want to leave their home. For the time being, the girl continues to go to school and has time to play with her beloved cats.
Making bread and manakish
In the small border town of Bint Jbeil, many shopkeepers have closed their businesses as a precaution. In the past, the town was a combat zone several times and has also been under Israeli occupation twice, most recently from 1982 to 2000. At the time of DW's visit, there was a tense calm: time to bake bread and manakish, a traditional pastry dish filled with cheese or minced meat.
Time to relax
This elderly man doesn't want to leave Bint Jbeil either. His water pipe gives him a break from everyday life and from the danger of a military conflict. Meanwhile, Hezbollah has announced its intention to compensate people in the border region and pay for killed livestock or damaged property.
Constantly on alert
These men keep up to date with the latest developments in Gaza, Israel and Lebanon. One of them tells us that, as long as the war remains largely confined to Gaza, they will stay here. Many residents have family members in towns further north, such as Sidon or Beirut, where they could find shelter if necessary. They hope the situation at home will not escalate.
Schools without classes
Small children play in the harbor town of Tyre, which is now home to 16,000 people who fled southern Lebanon. Public facilities such as schools serve as housing but this does not automatically mean that refugee children are able to continue studying. Fleeing the threat of war in southern Lebanon has interrupted their school education for the time being.
University serves as temporary home
Many students from Tyre have to do without their regular educational programs at the moment. Teaching at university has been suspended to accommodate refugees. According to estimates, more than 2,000 Lebanese and Syrian pupils are among those seeking protection.
Classrooms turned into living rooms
This boy lives with his parents and siblings in the classroom of a school in Tyre. Although the family has settled in as well as possible, living conditions are arduous. Refugees in Lebanon hope for help from international donors. The European Union, for example, has pledged to provide €3.5 million ($3.8 million) in humanitarian aid.
Waiting for aid
Lebanon's internal displacement could strain the already fragile health care system, the International Organization for Migration has warned. The health care sector has already reached the limits of its capacity, the body said. In recent days, around 500 internally displaced people were arriving in Tyre every day, according to a city representative, and they expect more to come.