(CBS) CHICAGO There is no end in sight to the escalating violence in the Middle East, and evacuees can’t get out fast enough.

The first planes carrying American evacuees are arriving on U.S. soil. One group of Lebanese-Americans was forced to leave Beirut after fighting broke out with Israel more than a week ago. They said they were terrified when bombs shook their homes.

Some 8,000 of the 25,000 U.S. citizens in Lebanon want to be evacuated. On Thursday, U.S. Marines on the beaches of Beirut helped them to escape.

Residents in the battle zone, and those evacuated from it, are begging for international intervention.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports on the agony of people separated by the conflict.

Their appeal was emotional, their criticism was harsh.

“It is to condemn the murder of civilians whether it be at the hands of Arab militants murdering innocent Jewish life or at the hands of Jewish-Israeli soldiers murdering innocent Palestinian, Lebanese life,” said Ahmed Rehab with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

 

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