Lebanese PM promises 33,000 dollars per destroyed house

Prime Minister of Lebanon Fuad Saniora announced Wednesday that the residents whose homes were destroyed by Israeli attacks would receive a compensation of US$33,000 per house from his government, AP reports.

Saniora said 130,000 housing units had been destroyed or damaged in more than a month of Israeli airstrikes and ground fighting with Hezbollah guerrillas, mostly in south Lebanon. He did not give a breakdown of the completely destroyed houses.

While Hezbollah launched rebuilding campaigns in its strongholds within days of the Aug. 14 cease-fire, the Lebanese government was criticized for a slow response.

In announcing in first aid package, Saniora said his government would donate prefabricated houses for residents to live in while their neighborhoods were being rebuilt.

Saniora also said he would ask delegates to a donors' conference in Stockholm, Sweden on Thursday to take responsibility for rebuilding specific villages hit by Israeli attacks.

Organizers of the international donors' conference were aiming to raise US$500 million in aid for Lebanon, Sweden's aid minister said Tuesday.