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Hizbullah draws massive crowd to mark Israeli withdrawal

by Daily Star staff Monday, May. 29, 2006 at 8:33 PM

A quarter of a million Hizbullah supporters packed a square in the southern port city of Tyre Friday to mark the anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from South Lebanon in 2000. A day earlier, the Islamic resistance group had launched a 10-day campaign to collect funds for Palestine, which is facing a crippling Western aid boycott after the election of Hamas.

BEIRUT: A quarter of a million Hizbullah supporters packed a square in the southern port city of Tyre Friday to mark the anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from South Lebanon in 2000. A day earlier, the Islamic resistance group had launched a 10-day campaign to collect funds for Palestine, which is facing a crippling Western aid boycott after the election of Hamas.

In a speech delivered on the occasion, Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the Lebanese must join forces to resolve the numerous issues facing the country.

"I advise the Lebanese to stop referring to the UN Security Council and [the international community]," he said. "Let us unite our efforts to resolve our problems."

Nasrallah added that establishing "strong and special" relations between Beirut and Damascus would only be possible as a result of "a common will and agreement between the two counties."

"Such relations cannot be imposed," he said, in reference to Security Council Resolution 1680, which calls on Syria to establish diplomatic relations with Lebanon.

The massive celebration, held near the former Israeli military headquarters in Tyre, came as Hizbullah faces continued pressure to disarm from the UN Security Council.

However, Nasrallah insisted the resistance would continue fighting Israel until the Jewish state withdrew from the Shebaa Farms and released all Lebanese detainees held in its prisons.

The Shiite cleric added that while Israel had defeated Arab armies for decades, its withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000 "after incessant attacks" by Hizbullah marked a significant turning point.

"We have entered the phase of victory," he said. "After May 25, there would be no more 'Nakba' and no more 'Naksa,'" Nasrallah said in reference to the 1948 "Catastrophe" which led to the creation of Israel and the devastating 1967 Arab defeat. "[From this point forward] there will only be resistance, liberation and victory."

Hizbullah enjoys widespread support for its struggle against Israel, which is widely credited with forcing Israel to withdraw its forces on May 25, 2000, ending 22 years of occupation.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb

However, the group's refusal to hand over its weapons has created deep divisions in Lebanon, where all other militias have disarmed. Hizbullah's weapons will be the focus of discussions at the next session of national talks on June 9.

The international community is also pressuring the group to hand over its arms in accordance with Resolution 1559's calls for the disarmament of all militias in Lebanon.

During the rally, supporters carried portraits of Nasrallah and waved the party's yellow and green flag, as well as those of Iran and Palestine.

As is customary in his speeches, Nasrallah thanked Iran and his party's other ally Syria, for their support.

"We thank the Syrian people and President Bashar Assad" for their support, he said. "This grateful gesture is the least we can do."

Once more taking aim at Washington, Nasrallah accused the US of trying to incite violence between Sunnis and Shiites in Lebanon and the region.

Meanwhile, Speaker Nabih Berri insisted that Damascus "welcomes and encourages" the Lebanese national dialogue and "has no problems with it."

Berri, who also spoke during the Liberation Day celebrations, said: "Lebanon is being used to besiege Syria and Syria is being used to hit the last vestiges of the resistance against Israel in Lebanon."

He continued to warn that: "This way we will be all losers. I call for the establishment of a true Syrian-Lebanese dialogue."

Questioning the manner in which developments have unfolded on the international stage over the past year, Berri said: "I wonder why things are being portrayed in such a way that Syria is the one that stands as a barrier in the face of demands imposed on it ... Lebanon, on many occasions, has refused proposals as well."

In other developments, Future Parliamentary Bloc President MP Saad Hariri was reported to have called Berri and Nasrallah Friday to congratulate them on Liberation Day. ~

www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=24777

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 30 posted about this article.
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Israel is not invincible victory is possible Monday, May. 29, 2006 at 9:08 PM
Seen this one before Scapegoated Jew Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 12:59 AM
heard it before Judasgoat's imp Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 4:17 AM
Note the topic Scapegoated Jew Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 4:20 AM
nah I'm just here to supervise. Judasgoat's imp Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 4:33 AM
You've got sub-par iq Scapegoated Jew Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 4:46 AM
laughing now...sadly Judasgoat's imp Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 5:01 AM
So you're also a self-anointed clairvoyant Scapegoated Jew Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 5:09 AM
rubber & glue clause? Judasgoat's imp Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 5:27 AM
look at their track record history buff Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 6:12 AM
"So far, they are the only ones who have" bunk logic Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 6:21 AM
"by bunk logic Monday, May. 29, 2006 at 9:21 AM " there they go again Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 8:12 AM
"by there they go again Monday, May. 29, 2006 at 11:12 AM " debate coach Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 8:15 AM
Israel is no less racist and theocratic than Hizbullah picking sides Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 11:18 AM
Another nessiesque lie Scapegoated Jew Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 11:26 AM
'This is one helluva deliberate brazen lie.' Judasgoat's imp Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 12:37 PM
"by debate coach Monday, May. 29, 2006 at 11:15 AM " there they go again Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 12:49 PM
"by there they go again Monday, May. 29, 2006 at 3:49 PM" heard it before Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 1:03 PM
"by heard it before Monday, May. 29, 2006 at 4:03 PM " there they go again Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 1:16 PM
"by there they go again Monday, May. 29, 2006 at 4:16 PM" there he goes again Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 1:34 PM
look it up gehrig Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 1:53 PM
"Israeli Arabs in the Knesset" traitors Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 4:36 PM
Hezbollah/Hamas:any difference? Aaron Klein Tuesday, May. 30, 2006 at 8:47 PM
"Those are the Vichy Palestinians." nessie: traitor to anti-racists Wednesday, May. 31, 2006 at 12:52 AM
translation gehrig Wednesday, May. 31, 2006 at 2:58 AM
UN faults Lebanon for Rocket Attacks against Israel Becky Johnson Wednesday, May. 31, 2006 at 3:44 AM
Genesis the rest Wednesday, May. 31, 2006 at 4:25 AM
the bible one atrocity after another Wednesday, May. 31, 2006 at 5:03 AM
SchtarkerYid Thats how you can tell its not a "fairyt Wednesday, May. 31, 2006 at 8:02 AM
More Samuel the book Wednesday, May. 31, 2006 at 8:56 AM

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