For this final edition of Middle East Matters, we bring you a series of reports from our correspondents in the region. We begin in Israel, where as the war in Gaza drags on, divisions in Israeli society are growing more stark. Immediately after the attacks of October 7, the vast majority of people supported the government’s decision to pursue Hamas aggressively. But a growing, vocal minority argues the government’s strategy is not working – particularly when it comes to rescuing the Israeli hostages. Our correspondent Claire Duhamel reports.
Over in south Lebanon, there have been near-daily exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and Hezbollah since October 7. More than 200 people have been killed in Lebanon, most of them Hezbollah fighters, but at least 26 civilians as well. Border villages have been almost emptied, with residents forced to flee north, to the cities of Tyre or Saida. Our correspondents Serge Berberi and Rawad Taha report.
This past week, the US launched airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against 85 targets, linked to Iran‘s Revolutionary Guard and pro-Iranian militias. The attack came in response to the killing of three American soldiers in Jordan, and the US has warned more strikes could be coming. That possibility is causing concern in Iraq, where civilians were among those killed. Our correspondents Lina Malers and Marie-Charlotte Roupie report.
Finally, this week marks one year since a devastating earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing more than 50,000 people. Twelve months on, thousands are still officially listed as “missing” and millions of survivors remain displaced. Our correspondents Jenna Le Bras and Melvyn Ingleby travelled to the epicentre of the quake in Hatay province to meet those honouring the dead and trying to preserve their memory.