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Last Updated: Monday, 17 July 2006, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Voices from the conflict: Friday
Ordinary people in Lebanon, Israel and the occupied territories are increasingly affected by the conflict.

Here are some of their stories.

MARYA CHEAIB, BEIRUT, LEBANON

Beirut resident, Marya Cheaib

The bombs are getting nearer and nearer. We are very shocked and scared. Fifty people have died so far, 15 of them children.

They have just hit two more bridges. We could hear the bombs. We thought they sounded really close, so we switched on the news and they are two minutes' drive away.

It is accurate. They're not targeting civilians, this I can say. The civilians they have targeted so far are Hezbollah - although they killed one Hezbollah man and his 10 children. The kids were aged two to 17. That's not fair.

We still have a few neighbours in our building. Others have either left for Syria or away from Beirut, to mountains where they think it's safer. I'd say 80% have left our block.

We have been set back 20 years. We've been trying to build everything from scratch since the war, and we did that. It's a beautiful country. But now everything's ruined. The infrastructure, roads and bridges, are being destroyed.

NATHALIE MALHAME, BEIRUT, LEBANON

Lebanese Christian, Nathalie Malhame

People, including me, have been rushing to the supermarket to buy food stocks, filling our cars with gas and worrying about our cats and dogs.

Until this morning we hoped things would get better. But then we heard on the radio that Hezbollah is attacking Israel again so we are worried.

I went out this morning to get my ID I left at a friend's. But I haven't gone to work. There are threats that more oil refineries will be bombed and there's one on the way to work so I am scared to drive there.

Technically I am a Christian - I live in a Christian area. Hezbollah doesn't represent me at all. I think they are crazy. They definitely don't represent most Lebanese.

We actually feel sorry for innocent Israeli people too, although the Israeli army is very insensitive to people here.

GAL POLINOVSKY, HAIFA, ISRAEL

Haifa resident, Gal Polinovsky

When Haifa was hit yesterday, I was attending the funeral of one of the Israeli soldiers who was killed during the Hezbollah kidnap on Tuesday.

He was only 24. I work with his brother. It was very sad to hear the father talk about his dead son.

It's the first time rockets have fallen in Haifa since the Gulf War in 1991, although we have had some serious suicide bombings since then.

I went out this morning. I was a bit scared in the street. There were some people, but it was not as busy as normal.

I work for a big computer company. We must listen to see when we should return to work.

We planned to go to Thailand in three weeks on holiday, but we don't know if we can now. Even if there are flights, it's hard to think of going while my family is here in danger.

DENISE NASSIF, US TOURIST, BEKAA VALLEY, LEBANON

Tourist Denise Nassif
I, my husband and three children were due to fly out from Beirut tonight, but we can't. They are bombing the airport over and over again.

Last night the children were screaming. They could hear Israeli bombs destroying a bridge in the Bekaa Valley, one that connects from here to Beirut. They were window-rattling bombs.

They were also bombing Baalbeck overnight and early this morning - it's a Hezbollah stronghold.

We are stranded. Lebanon is full of tourists who are all stranded like us.

My husband went to a travel agency this morning. We are 15 minutes from the Syrian border. If we can't get out from Syria, we have no way of getting out.

But the American and Canadian embassies are recommending we stay away from the Syrian border. They have no evacuation plans at the moment.

ZE'EV PERL, SAFED, ISRAEL

Aftermath of a rocket attack in Safed
The northern Israeli town of Safed has come under sustained attack

We were first attacked yesterday morning at about 0800 and since then, we've had more than 50 rockets. The last one was 10 minutes ago. Thirty people have been injured and two people have been killed.

The last time we had Katushyas was in 1977. But Hezbollah rockets have a longer range now.

We are being targeted more than Haifa, and our town only has 30,000 residents.

I was mayor for 10 years here and once a mayor always a mayor! I really think people are behaving fantastically here. There is no panic. We hope that our IDF will change the situation. That is our wish.

This is a big shock for people. And there is great economic damage too.







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