Israel’s bombings on Friday have created a nightmare for international and UN agencies trying to deliver supplies to Lebanese refugees in villages. The bombings have prevented evacuations from the country to Syria, as well.
This new situation developed when Israeli warplanes wrecked four bridges along the coastal highway in the Christian heartland north of
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), backed by other U.N. relief agencies and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said the humanitarian crisis had deepened after the bombings.
"This was the main supply route for UNHCR, all our supplies come from ," said Jennifer Pagonis, a spokeswoman for the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
The Israeli government has repeatedly said that it makes every effort to enable the escape of Lebanese trapped in areas being bombed. They have dropped leaflets warning people to leave their towns and villages. They have promised safe passage through safe routes for supplies and refugees fleeing. Yet many people have been killed trying escape in cars and other vehicles, seemingly targeted by Israeli warships.
"The road was badly damaged with the result that we cannot bring assistance from Arida, from Syria to
In order to evaluate damage caused by the air raids or to find new secondary routes from Lebanon to Syria, humanitarian organizations must have clearance, known as ‘concurrence’.
But according to Christiane Berthiaume, Israeli forces would not give them security clearance.
Berthiaume told reporters, "We did not have concurrence to be able to check the road from
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the bombings had halted its evacuation of Filipino and Sri Lankan migrant workers from the conflict
Access to towns and villages in southern Lebanon was also hampered further by the latest fighting, relief agencies reported.
The European Commission also expressed concern at the bombings.
"We certainly regret what happened, what is happening. We express our concern and we are considering possible ways of first assessing and then trying to take a formal position," he added