Hezbollah says it will abide by Israel-Hamas ceasefire on Lebanon border

Hezbollah says it will abide by Israel-Hamas ceasefire on Lebanon border
Hezbollah said that as long as Israel abides by the ceasefire, it will also cease hostilities along Lebanon's southern border.
3 min read
22 November, 2023
Displaced residents are waiting anxiously to see if tomorrow's ceasefire will hold up so they can return to their villages.

Hezbollah said on Wednesday that it would abide by a four-day ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, as long as Israel does not fire along the Lebanese border. 

This would be the first lull in fighting along the Israel-Lebanon border since clashes started in the wake of Hamas' surprise operation into Israel on 7 October.

The ceasefire between Hamas and Israel is slated to start Thursday morning and continue for four days to facilitate a hostage exchange between the two parties, as well as to allow aid to enter Gaza.

A Hezbollah official told Al Jazeera on Wednesday that the group will respect the ceasefire in Lebanon, providing that Israel does not fire on the border.

A source in the Lebanese Army told The New Arab that the army had been previously trying to push for a ceasefire so that farmers could reach their crops along the border.

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Six weeks of consistent bombing has prevented farmers from harvesting their crops, hindering the livelihoods of thousands, specifically olive and tobacco farmers.

"Tons of people will be going back to the village tomorrow, hopefully Israelis do not violate the ceasefire," Mohammed Srour, the mayor of the southwestern border village of Aita al-Shaab, told TNA.

Srour said that residents want to check on their homes, many of which had been damaged by Israeli shelling and use of white phosphorus. He added that farmers in the village will also collect harvested tobacco so that they can sell it to the Lebanese state.

Other residents of border villages said they were anxiously waiting to see if news of the ceasefire was true, so that they could return home, if only temporarily.

"We will wait and see if it's true. A group of us are planning to go back to our homes, but we prefer if the Lebanese army comes with us for protection," Ali Sweid, a resident of Dahayra, a border village which was depopulated after heavy Israeli use of white phosphorus, told TNA.

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Sweid and his family have been living in a shelter in Sour since Dahayra was targeted on 17 October.

He had been returning to the village sporadically to collect belongings in the first weeks after he was displaced but had stopped as bombings grew more intense.

The UN estimated that almost 30,000 residents had been displaced from the border regions of Lebanon by fighting.

Their ability to sustain themselves outside of their homes has been hindered by Lebanon's four-year long economic crisis, which has seen the national currency lose 98 percent of its value.

Many of those displaced have little economic means to rent appropriate living spaces further north or buy basic supplies, like clothes, as winter approaches and their displacement drags on.