Hezbollah says the recent provocations by Israel and UNIFIL forces in southern Lebanon are part of an “international move” against the resistance movement.
Resistance sources said on Saturday there was a connection between Tel Aviv’s release of pictures, allegedly showing resistance’s preparation for armed conflict in the southern Lebanon, and French forces’ incitement of clashes with the locals there.
The maps and photographs publicized by the Israeli military echo Tel Aviv’s war rhetoric. Israel has launched two wars on Lebanon.
Tel Aviv’s 2006 offensive against Beirut killed about 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians. The Israeli military, however, was met with Hezbollah resistance and was eventually forced to leave Lebanon without achieving any of its objectives.
The Israeli withdrawal came after the UN Security Council issued Resolution 1709, which ended the conflict and formed the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to maintain security of Lebanon’s southern border with Israel.
Earlier in the month, the French forces deployed in Lebanon as part of the UNIFIL, arrested a local youth in a southern village, inciting clashes with the locals. They then took the captive to a nearby town, where they continued to ignite local outrage by violating the civilians’ privacy.
“Exactly like the new French policy, the behavior of the French forces in UNIFIL shows that France has returned to the year 1965 to implement the policy of conspiring against the Arab homeland,” the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper quoted Hezbollah sources as saying on Saturday.
The sources drew a link between “the recent incidents with the UNIFIL forces…to the Israeli fabrications about maps of military positions.”
“We sense a suspicious international move…. All these are atmospheres trying to pressure the resistance,” they noted. “They are preparing something for us but we are at the highest level of preparedness and calm. We will stay as far as possible from the fiery verbal rivalry because we want the summer of the Lebanese to be complete and pass safely despite all Israel’s attempts to implement what it failed to do in 2006, namely, to incapacitate the resistance.”