Stranded Germans trying to flee from Lebanon

18th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

18 July 2006, BEIRUT - As Israel continued to pound targets in southern Lebanon, foreign nationals have desperately been seeking means of getting out of the country. "Get us out of this hell!" Hanan Haag, a Lebanese-German national, screamed in a phone call to DPA, appealing for help in reaching the German Embassy in Beirut in order to leave the country. A summer vacation for Hanan and her family had turned into their worst nightmare, as Israel began a fierce attack last Wednesday against Lebanese militant

18 July 2006

BEIRUT - As Israel continued to pound targets in southern Lebanon, foreign nationals have desperately been seeking means of getting out of the country.

"Get us out of this hell!" Hanan Haag, a Lebanese-German national, screamed in a phone call to DPA, appealing for help in reaching the German Embassy in Beirut in order to leave the country.

A summer vacation for Hanan and her family had turned into their worst nightmare, as Israel began a fierce attack last Wednesday against Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, after the movement captured two of its soldiers.

Looking pale and tired in a Beirut hotel, Haag described how she and her family were stuck three days in the southern port city of Tyre as the shelling began.

"Me and my four children hid for two days inside a bathroom inside our home from the shelling," she said. "Living here is too much."

Lebanese nationals carrying western passports from the US, Canada, Germany, remain trapped in various areas of southern Lebanon, holed up in their houses and making desperate pleas for their embassies to evacuate them.

Many western countries have been implementing evacuation plans for their nationals over the past two days, as violence intensifies in the country.

Haag described southern Lebanese villagers trudging across rugged valleys and braving aerial bombardments, in search of safety outside of southern Lebanon.

"Since Sunday night some 30,000 refugees have come to areas in the Chouf mountains," a Lebanese defence worker told DPA.

The Israeli military said it was urging people in southern Lebanon to head north after a wave of Hezbollah rockets fired from near Tyre on Sunday killed eight people in the northern Israeli coastal town of Haifa.

Haag said it took her and the children - including a one-year-old infant - seven hours to reach Beirut. On a normal day the trip from Tyre would take one hour, but with Israeli shelling destroying all bridges linking Beirut to southern Lebanon, Haag was forced to drive through mountainous regions to get to the capital.

German embassy officials in Beirut said that evacuation plans are continuing and all nationals have been called to contact the German embassy and register their names for evacuation in the coming two days.

The embassy managed to contact Haag and has given her the necessary procedures to evacuate her and her family from Lebanon.

Tears running down her face, Hanan said: "I want to go back to home to Stuttgart ... my husband is there, I want to live in a peaceful country."

Haag's fifteen-year-old sat speechless as her mother described their agony.

Haag also said food supplies were running low in southern Lebanon, with officials saying there was a shortage of fuel at petrol stations and of flour in bakeries - all making life more difficult.

"We have survived three Israeli invasions, but this is probably as violent as the one in 1982," when the Israeli army last invaded Lebanon, said Haag.

DPA

Subject: German news

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