[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 17 July 2006, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Voices from the conflict: Thursday
Israel is continuing an air, sea and land blockade on Lebanon as part of a major offensive to press for the release of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah militants.

After the bombing of Beirut's international airport, people across the city spoke to the BBC News website about their fears for the future.

GABY BAYRAM, 30, CONSULTANT

Gaby Bayram
Gaby Bayram says the streets of Beirut are quiet
Everything is very quiet here. The mood is subdued, hesitant and tense.

I live in an area which is usually very lively and noisy with traffic and people walking around. This morning, there were just a few fishermen about.

Yesterday, people were out and about getting on with their daily lives. It's quite the opposite today. The attack on the airport was a real shock. People expect the power stations to be hit tonight and Beirut will be in darkness.

I think Hezbollah's action are completely out of line. They are acting independently of the Lebanese government and have no right to incite this violence against Israel.

Initially, I thought Israel's reactions in destroying Hezbollah positions and escape routes were appropriate. But the killing of civilians and the bombing of civilian installations, including the airport, is completely unjustified and excessive.

I expect it to get worse.

Hezbollah's demands are ridiculous and I don't think they will be met. Lebanon will be reduced to rubble before these prisoners are returned.

EDMOND KHOURY, 52, EDUCATIONAL HEAD

People are distraught today. The public is utterly fed up with this. We thought this violence was behind us.

When the situation gets tough between Israel and the Palestinians, we pay the price. We pay for all the mishaps and bad policies in the Middle East.

This country is carrying the pains of the entire Arab world.

Worse still, it looks like a group of people are getting their commands from outside the country. We have a president who is fully behind Hezbollah, a puppet for Syria.

We knew there would be skirmishes down south, but we didn't know how far the situation would escalate and we don't know what more could come.

When the situation gets tough in Israel and Palestine, we pay the price
There is a saying here: "Don't tickle a sleeping tiger, because you will be eaten." What did we really expect?

Since the foundation of the state of Israel, we have paid the price. In just two years this conflict will be 60 years old. Why doesn't the international community step in and find a serious solution?

All we want is a peaceful Middle East.

Meanwhile the Lebanese who suffered for 30 years during the war can prepare themselves for more suffering.

WALID NASRALLAH, 50, UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR

I am sitting tight and avoiding venturing outside. We sit around the television listening to the news.

Beirut and Lebanon map

My extended family are in the house with me now. There are 15 of us and like most Lebanese, we are taking this with a heavy dose of stoicism.

If I were acting for Hezbollah, I would not have kidnapped those two soldiers. But it's done now and it would be counter-productive for us Lebanese to speak up against it.

We are now in a position of war. Nothing more can be done. But I don't think this is turning the Lebanese against Hezbollah in any way.

Many would say that Israel has reacted harshly because they were just waiting for an excuse for a harsh act. Some say the Lebanese government is trying to prove how tough it is without having a real strategy.

We can only wait and see. I believe this will not escalate quickly. I'm not worried for tomorrow, but I worry for what happens next month.






FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific