HEZBOLLAH ‘JIHAD FOR CONSTRUCTION’ – dispenses £10,000 for each destroyed home in Baalbek

Marchers in London on August 5th against Israel’s attack on Lebanon show their support for Hezbollah
Marchers in London on August 5th against Israel’s attack on Lebanon show their support for Hezbollah

The Lebanese Hezbollah movement on Monday began paying compensation to the residents of buildings that were totally destroyed in the city of Baalbek by allocating $10,000 to each residential unit to pay the rent for one year for one apartment and to buy the necessary house furniture.

At the same time, teams surveying the damage in the city and the region continued their work. About 90 per cent of the work has been completed and the rest will be done in the coming few days.

Husayn al-Nimr, the person entrusted with this file by Hezbollah, held a press conference in Baalbek in which he said: ‘The Islamic health board and all the medical committees in Al-Biqa are continuing their work in cooperation with the civil defence and the Red Cross.

‘During the aggression, 15 teams were in charge of receiving the displaced that totalled more than 60,000 from the Al-Marj township to Hirmil.

‘Today and after the speech made by Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah to those that stood fast and those that are returning to their homes, the rescue teams of the “Jihad for Construction” Institute were divided into eight main teams with each team subdivided into committees to follow up on the issue of the buildings that need renovation and the rebuilding of the bridges, underpasses and roads.

‘The area was divided into seven regions but since Baalbek was the most damaged, 15 teams were formed in the city with each team headed by an engineer to survey the damage to the houses that were demolished totally or partially and those that can be renovated.’

Al-Nimr added: ‘The final and detailed survey is almost completed. So far, about 90 per cent of the damage in the city of Baalbek has been assessed and in two days, we shall complete the survey.

‘We have opened the Imam Khomeini Cultural Centre in Baalbek so that citizens may come and file for compensation. The citizens are kindly asked to come to the centre to receive the compensation allocated for buildings that were destroyed partially or totally.

‘There are about 4,500 residential units that have been affected in addition to commercial stores, health clinics, offices, gas stations, bridges and vehicles.

‘About 300 residential units were totally destroyed and 220 residential units partially destroyed in the city.

‘We have also opened three offices in the neighbourhoods to receive applications related to renovation activities after the Jihad for Construction teams complete their survey.

‘As of tomorrow, citizens may refer to officials in the Imam Khomeini Centre to receive their compensation for renovation purposes.’

Al-Nimr went on to say: ‘Two mechanisms have been adopted. The “Jihad for Construction” Institute will be directly in charge of renovation activities or after assessing the cost, the owner of the building may after assessment proceed with the actual renovation and present bills to the centre to be reimbursed.

‘The applications are almost ready and the citizens can receive the cost of their payments.’

Al-Nimr called on the people to be patient, saying: ‘We realise the size of the tragedy and the needs.

‘But despite the large number of people who are working and following up in the field and despite the large number of volunteers, we hope that our people would appreciate the pressure we are working under.

‘We hope that everyone will receive their rights shortly.’

Al-Nimr appealed to the state through its official organs and civil institutions ‘to assume their responsibilities by lifting the rubble, opening the roads and compensating the people.

‘The state should not be absent in this regard. It should be present since the real and principal responsibility should be borne by the state’.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese National News Agency also reported on Monday that that Israeli reconnaissance planes intensively flew over the central sector of Lebanon on Monday morning and warplanes flew over Bint-Jubayl in southern Lebanon, which was razed to the ground in the recent war.

The agency’s correspondent said that the occupation forces razed roads inside and outside the border village of Markaba with the aim of preventing citizens from returning to it, indicating that the occupation forces opened fire with their machineguns at workers from the Lebanon Electricity Company while they were working to fix breakdowns in Tallat al-Hamamis in Al-Khiyam.

Lebanese National News Agency also carried four reports on Israeli warplanes violating Lebanese air space on Monday.

Meanwhile, delivering a speech at a ceremony held by Hezbollah to honour the martyrs of Al-Hallusiyah town, Minister of Energy and Water Muhammad Funaysh said: ‘Lebanon’s future is not decided in Washington, by Western decision-making circles, or by the UN Security Council.

‘Rather, it is decided by the will of the sons of Lebanon.’

He added: ‘Lebanon will not be again a weak country or a passageway for the US-Israeli project, which is dubbed as the new Middle East plan.

‘Instead, it will be a thorn in the side of this project and a force against all US attempts at domination in the region.’

Funaysh continued: ‘It is no longer allowed to contemplate taking Lebanon east or westward. Lebanon asserted its identity, position and role in the existing conflict.’

The minister said: ‘The US administration found out that the line of resistance with all its political affiliations and groups, led by the Islamic resistance as a symbol of a political project in Lebanon, stands as an insurmountable obstacle to its project.

‘This project had sought to change Lebanon’s position and role and the direction of its political path.’

He added: ‘We face what is termed the new Middle East plan. Ms Rice signalled the approach of this plan at the height of the savagery of Israel, which killed our children, women and old people.’

He continued: ‘It punished the society of resistance by taking revenge against civilians, carrying out massacres against the residents of the south, the Southern Suburb of Beirut and Al-Biqa, and destroying houses over the heads of their residents.

‘She sought to use this aggression to achieve the goals of that project, because no country is allowed to reject US dictates.’

Minister Funaysh said: ‘The US administration prolonged the duration of the aggression against Lebanon, blocked the Security Council’s role and did not allow the international community to perform the minimal level of its duties to preserve peace.

‘Its aim was to give the Israeli occupation army time in the hope that it would achieve an alleged victory over this resistance.’

However, he asserted: ‘The steadfast and firm society of resistance and the political stand, which is based on the mujahideen’s steadfastness and achievements on the ground, helped make a change in international decision-making.

‘As a result, this war ended in a moral and military defeat for the Israeli enemy and it will be followed by a political defeat.’

Minister Funaysh said: ‘The resistance exposed the true position of the international community, and thus the scandals and facts began to appear.

‘The US administration cannot obliterate these facts.’

He added: ‘We now see this great victory, which was the concern of the resistance society. We also see the survival of the symbol and master of resistance as an expression of the project of glory, freedom, dignity and vigour.

‘The goal was achieved and the displaced people quickly returned to their villages and homes.’

He continued: ‘As a result, many traps that were laid in the region and in the way of this resistance were deactivated, and the reconstruction project was launched, at a time when there was a plot to prevent the displaced from returning to their homes.

‘This situation made the enemy plead for the deployment of the Lebanese army and UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), so that he may hand the positions that he occupied over to them.’