Qatar and Egypt plan talks with Hamas on Gaza ceasefire: White House

BEIRUT: Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport saw an influx of arrivals on Saturday as Lebanese expatriates and tourists ignored hostilities in the south and traveled to celebrate the Eid Al-Adha holiday.

European embassies had previously issued warnings against visits to Lebanon due to the tense security situation, but these failed to discourage expatriates and visitors, mainly from Iraq and Egypt, arriving for Eid.

On the eve of the holidays, there was a notable discrepancy in the prices of sacrificial animals on the Lebanese market, along with an unjustified increase in meat prices.

Majed Eid, secretary of the Union of Butchers, Livestock Importers and Traders, said that imports of sacrificial animals from abroad have decreased this year compared to previous years.

The security situation in the Tire area has led to a reduction in shopping activity as Eid approaches, despite the substantial influx of expatriates who typically boost commercial and economic activity there.

Tire Traders Association secretary Ghazwan Halawani said Eid preparations appear normal, with no noticeable improvement in business activity, sales or market visitors.

He attributed the decline to anxiety over military operations on the border and Israeli attacks on civilians.

On the eve of Eid Al-Adha, despite the hostilities, thousands of families from the southern region headed to their villages near the border.

Issa, a butcher, was planning to spend the holidays with his family, even though his area had been sporadically bombed in recent months.

“Nothing will happen to us except what God has intended for us,” he said.

The Eid holiday will be a challenge for the population of the south, especially for those who fled their villages eight months ago.

Eid Al-Adha presents significant challenges for displaced people in the south, with nearly 100,000 people forced to leave their villages.

Nabatieh Governor Hwaida Turk told Arab News that 65 cities in Nabatieh governorate had been subjected to “systematic bombing and burning due to Israeli attacks.”

Some cities were almost destroyed, he said.

Turk said residents of frontline towns, especially in the Marjayoun and Hasbaya areas, did not return for Eid.

However, the villages and towns in the rear are crowded with displaced people along with their original inhabitants.

He said people in the southern region tried to celebrate Eid with hope despite difficult economic conditions.

Hezbollah continued to attack Israel on Saturday, days after an airstrike killed one of its commanders.

Airstrikes from both sides intensified, with Hezbollah saying it had carried out an attack “with a fleet of suicide drones on the Khirbet Maer base, destroying part of it.”

The attack came in response to the killing of a senior Hezbollah commander, Sami Hassan Taleb, nicknamed Abu Taleb, along with three others, in an Israeli attack on their position in Jouaiyya several days ago.

Israeli Army Radio reported that a fire broke out in the settlement of Goren in the Western Galilee after several Hezbollah drones struck the area.

As part of the escalation, Hezbollah targeted the headquarters of the air surveillance and operations management unit at the Meron base.

Israeli media said that “two anti-armored missiles launched from the Meron base were targeted.”

Hezbollah said it hit a group of Israeli soldiers at the Hadab Yaron site with a missile, killing or wounding several.

An Israeli military drone attack on Saturday morning killed a motorcyclist at the Bint Jbeil-Maroun Ras intersection. Another person was injured in the resulting fire.

The outskirts of Deir Mimas and Aaziyyeh Hill were subjected to phosphorus bombardment, causing forest fires to break out.

Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee said that “an air force plane targeted a Hezbollah vandal in Aitaroun,” adding that “the Israeli army shelled the area with artillery.”

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