After a year of relative peace, the tiny village of Azziye in southern Lebanon stands as a grim reminder that an internal settlement has still not been found.
After a year of relative peace, the tiny village of Azziye in southern Lebanon stands as a grim reminder that an internal settlement has still not been found. Much of the bitter fighting of a year ago has disappeared, but in the south particularly, the tension remains. It was only in November that Azziye was bombed, as the Israelis retaliated after commando rocket attacks on the honeymoon resort of Naharya. In an interview in Beirut on Friday (30 December) former Lebanese Prime Minister Saeb Salam emphasised the current dangers to full peace, but at the same time said he was hopeful for the country's future.
SYNOPSIS: Azziya is roughly half way between the Israeli border, and Lebanon's southern-most city, the old Phoenician port of Tyre.
Once it was modest hamlet, but now it's a sea of rubble, with the wreckage of tractors littered among what were concrete block homes. The village is deserted and the survivors of the Israeli air strike have moved away to other villages and towns. In many ways the village typifies the plight of southern Lebanon.
Fruit growing is the major source of income in an area, in which sporadic fighting continues between the various factions. It's a gloomy picture, but Saeb Salam is optimistic.