Video of main road leading to UN post in Maroun al Ras.
Maroun al Ras was a major clash-point between Hizballah and Israeli forces. The city is entirely destroyed. Most buildings are nothing more than heaps of rubble. The rest are littered with unexploded shells and cluster bombs. This is one of the few cities that witnessed an Israeli tank offensive. The tanks, based on our direct observation, did not make it further than 3-4 KMs into Lebanon. Maroun al Ras is less than 1 KM from the border. Where they attempted to drive through, they were fought effectively with anti-tank missles. Israel lost more than 50 tanks in less than 20 days of ground invasion fighting an infantry force. These are the Merkava tanks, which Israel calls "the best tank in the world". In the video you will see tank tracks on the road. Lebanon's landscape forces most tank movement onto roads. Fields and plains are naturally impossible to manoeuver due to the existence of rock formations that cannot be traversed. No Hizballah or Israeli forces could be seen inside Lebanon. No Israeli forces could be seen in Israel as far as 3-4 KMs in.
- video opens to a view of the UN post overlooking border with Israel in Maroun al Ras. this UN post was targetted by Israeli shelling, and is visibly damaged (with large holes). past the post, the road was blocked by the rubble of a fallen building. we stopped there to take photos of the UN base, which was eerily empty and lifeless. the quiet was so disconcerting. we left shortly thereafter as we felt we were in 'no man's land', and could be targeted by Israel at any moment. just the day before, 5 days after the cease-fire, Israel attempted a raid of the Historical city of Baalbek with planes helicopters and humvees. in Maroun al Ras, that was only too likely.
- camera sweeps to a view of Hizballah banners and flags. just behind is a direct view of Israeli settlements. the Israeli side of the border is marked with thick and lush greens. the Lebanese side is marked with dry and arid yellows. during the 22 year Israeli occupation of South Lebanon, all Lebanese water resources were diverted to Israel [BBC]. this resulted in a stark difference between two lands separated by a 10 meter dirt road. Israel to date threatens Lebanon with military action whenever Lebanese farmers attempt to irrigate Lebanese lands with Lebanese waters [BBC].
- car rolls along on a deserted road. tank tracks clearly visible in video.
- restaurant is partially destroyed. arguiles (shisha, hubble bubble) still waiting to be lit, bags of potato chips under chairs.
- every 50 or so meters, there's a large crater in the road. most craters require 10 inches of ground clearance and a heavy duty 4x4. before venturing into this area, we met a news team in a Toyota 4Runner fully equipped with a satellite transmission module. they did not attempt to reach the UN post. they didn't even have the courage to investigate the road overlooking Israel, and instead asked us if we could report to them on the condition and situation there.
- further along there's a pink restaurant. it's laying on its side.
- behind the restaurant we see a pack of dogs (10-20). Maroun al Ras was emptied so quickly that many livestock were left behind. We spotted 2 cows and 1 horse decomposing on the main road.
- past the pink restaurant, the car rolls on until the final few seconds of the video, where it passes by (bottom left) the remains of a destroyed Israeli Merkava.
- at the end of the road, the news team is waiting for our report.
This is a really great blog. We (Americans) need other outlets to get the real news. Obviously, we only see the Israeli side here and those who want the other side of the story in the region have to really hunt for it. Keep telling it like it is.
thanks jennifer. I knew there were good americans out there who can handle the truth :) just kidding ... thanks for supporting the Lebanese and the fight for the Truth. I commend you.
A Canadian Friend
well said Jennifer . Just keep plugging this site to all you meet and via your own web activity . The people deserve the truth and media are playing along in the control game . Fink you are brilliant . Keep it going but take care We need you .
I pray for the people and country of Lebanon. Very few countries can match the beauty I have experienced and the amazing and welcoming people I have met during my numerous trips to Lebanon over the past 20 years. I have noticed a change in the news coverage during this war ... not as pro-Israel as before. Americans are paying attention to Lebanon. As Americans with ties to Lebanon, we have an obligation to educate our American friends on the real story of Lebanon and not to believe everything that is broadcast on TV or written in the papers.
To Raja Amaya and Wajih Grant Tabsh -- I love you and miss you!!
Debra ("Tabsh") Armstrong
Thank you for your videos. These are invaluable for those who wish to know the truth and feel what the Lebanese who lost so much are experiancing. The internet is a chance for Americans to find out the truth. Even though our media revealed a bit more after this autrocity, they have a loooooong way to go. Wonder if our good ole AC360 from CNN will now go into Lebanon and show the depleted uranium that was shot from the Isreali side he was so glorifying! Where is AC360, he never returned to Lebanon to show the other side. Thanks again for your videos. I know it was difficult and dangerous for you to go. Please be careful from the cluster bombs.