Beirut, Lebanon, Jul 18, 2006 / 22:00 pm
Caritas Lebanon has issued a humanitarian alert in response to the displacement of thousands of people who are fleeing the military conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, saying it fears “an unprecedented catastrophe.”
The president and the secretary general of Caritas Lebanon, Louis Samaha and Habib Hatem, have sent a message to all the offices of Caritas around the world informing them of dozens of deaths and hundreds of wounded from the Israeli bombing of Beirut.
The message indicates that residents are fleeing the city in search of safety and that the city of Sidon has already taken in over five thousand displaced families in schools and shelters.
In response to Israeli warnings of new attacks on Beirut, Caritas Lebanon hopes, “they will not take place, as this is a very populated zone and there exists a real risk of an unprecedented catastrophe.”
“The people are overcome with fear and terror and are lining up at service stations, bakeries and supermarkets for fear of shortages of gas, bread and groceries as a result of the blockade imposed by Israel on ports and the Beirut airport,” the message adds.
“From the bottom of our hearts we hope and we pray God will rescue Lebanon from additional suffering,” the message says in conclusion.