The second-in-command of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement has hailed the 2000 liberation of southern Lebanon from the Israeli occupation as a “turning point” in the history of the Middle East, saying the victory shattered the Israeli military’s invincibility myth.
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem made the remarks on Monday as Lebanon was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the end of Israel’s occupation, Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Manar television network reported.
The official said thanks to the blow dealt to the Israeli military two decades ago, “we have moved from the stage of despair to hope, from surrender to resistance, from humiliation to honor, and from defeat to victory.”
Qassem said the liberation of southern Lebanon opened the door to more consecutive victories for Lebanon, Palestine and the entire region against the Zionist regime and American plots, including the creation of the Daesh terror group.
The historic triumph, he added, put an end to the Israeli military’s invincibility myth and helped strengthen the faith of the young generations in resistance and struggles towards liberating Palestine from the Israeli occupiers.
The developments that unfolded in the region over the past years proved that pro-Israel world powers and the solutions that they offer for regional conflicts cannot be trusted, he added.
“We are currently in the midst of a war and there is still a need for resistance,” said the Hezbollah official, emphasizing the necessity for the resistance front to stay fully ready for any future scenario.
‘Lebanon’s liberation deepened Israel’s existential crisis’
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement likewise described Israel’s expulsion from southern Lebanon as a major “turning point,” saying the defeat deepened the regime’s existential crisis.
The Gaza-based movement said “resistance is the choice of the Palestinian nation in [its struggles] to take back its homeland.”
The statement said that Palestinians have no option but resistance in the pursuit of their cause.
Lebanon marks the Resistance and Liberation Day on May 25 each year. In May 2000, the Israeli regime was forced by Hezbollah to withdraw its troops from Lebanon, ending nearly two decades of occupation of the country’s south.
Hezbollah was established following the 1982 Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon.
Since then, the movement has grown into a powerful military force, dealing repeated blows to the Israeli military, including during a 33-day war in July 2006.