According to Haaretz, despite the lapse of twenty years since the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon, they have learned the real reasons behind this withdrawal.
The newspaper reported that twenty years after the Israeli unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon, there was still a deep wound in the hearts of the Israelis.
The publication emphasized that among the reasons that prompted Israel to leave Lebanon was the difficulty of finding a safe area in southern Lebanon for their military, along with carrying out useless operations along the border.
“But the truth is that our operations against Hezbollah weren’t of much use. We didn’t gain a thing except for feeling a little better. It reminded me of the body counts of Vietcong fighters by the Americans in the ‘search and destroy’ missions in Vietnam. Those missions were good for IDF morale, but when there’s no final whistle ending the game, they don’t change much,” an officer told Haaretz.
Furthermore, they said there was a lack of confidence in any Israeli operations or missions in southern Lebanon, as the Israel-backed Southern Lebanese Army (SLA) was unable to hold their ground with IDF support.
It is noteworthy that the Israeli Defense Forces decided to withdraw unilaterally from southern Lebanon on May 25th, 2000, after direct orders from the then Prime Minister, Ehud Barak.
Every year on May 25th, Lebanon celebrates this day as the end of the Israeli occupation, which had lasted from 1982-2000.
Nearly five years later, the Syrian Arab Army would end their presence in Lebanon, concluding the long period of time in which the small Levantine country had foreign forces inside its territory.