It was heartbreaking. As the shells swished over the village, the last of its people came walking in tears through the long grass, out of basements, down the stone tracks from their poor cement houses towards the United Nations soldiers.
One young woman carried her two month-old baby and clutched it to her breast in our car, her tears splashing on to the child’s shawl. The oldest woman in the village sat next to her, well over 80, her lips and cheeks tattooed in the way girls adorned their faces in the days of the Ottoman empire. One man had wrapped his ears in bandages to deaden the crack of the Israeli artillery on the hill above.
North of us, across the orange orchards and villages of southern Lebanon on this beautiful spring afternoon, sprouted mushroom clouds of white and grey smoke as the Israeli jets worked over the little hamlets with their cheaply built minarets and potholed roads.
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