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TEAR Fund - looming refugee crisis in Lebanon

TEAR Fund Press Release

For Immediate Release: 19/07/06

TEAR Fund expresses concern at looming refugee crisis in Lebanon

TEAR Fund New Zealand is expressing deep concern at the looming humanitarian and refugee crisis in Lebanon. Since hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah fighters commenced, 100,000 people have reportedly fled their homes.

“The mass movement of this many people, leaving their neighborhoods and infrastructure in ruins, is creating a distressing logistical crisis,” says TEAR Fund Executive Director Stephen Tollestrup.

TEAR Fund is unequivocal in its denunciation Hezbollah’s provocation, but says Israel’s response to the kidnapping of two of its soldiers in southern Lebanon is totally disproportionate.

“The Israeli bombardment amounts to collective punishment of Lebanese civilians. What is the strategic importance of bombing Lebanon’s largest diary company Liban Lait? Why bomb Amchit, a Christian village about one hour north of Beirut, damaging the port and thus preventing critical medical supplies from reaching their destination?

“What of the bombing of roads, bridges and ports in areas outside Hezbollah controlled areas? By wrecking the economy of this small and sovereign nation, Israel is creating a new generation of terrorists. This is no way to secure the safe future of Israel.”

TEAR Fund is currently in discussion with its regional partners to plan a response to the accelerating crisis.


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