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Lebanon: People of the South Rule Out New War with Israel

Lebanon: People of the South Rule Out New War with Israel

Friday, 23 August, 2019 - 05:45
FILE PHOTO: Lebanese soldiers stand near the border with Israel, at the village of Kfar Kila, in south Lebanon December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Aziz Taher/File Photo

In his latest speech, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that in the next war with Israel, the people will “see a live broadcast of the destruction of Israeli brigades.”

Hezbollah has grown “500 times stronger” since the 2006 war with Israel, Nasrallah said in a televised speech as the movement marked the anniversary of what it called its military "victory" in Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon near the Israeli border.

But in cities and towns bordering Israel, residents ruled out another war with the country.

Hussein Qataya, a Hezbollah rival who has announced his candidacy for by-elections in Tyre district, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the party’s “popularity has been dwindling.”

He said that Nasrallah has only resorted to the war rhetoric to hit on the people’s nerves ahead of the elections.

Hussein Ezzedine, another southerner, said that the people of south Lebanon will not allow Hezbollah to fire missiles by using civilians as human shields to prevent a scenario similar to the 2006 war when Israel carried out airstrikes on civilian infrastructure and displaced thousands.

As for a woman, who only wanted to be identified by her first name as Faten, she ruled out war.

“The party has the capabilities to confront Israel, but ... it will not do so because it knows that the people of the south are already economically dead,” said the woman, who hails from the city of Tyre.

A man called Youssef, the owner of a restaurant, said he would return to France if there was another war with Israel.

“We have already been burdened by an economic war,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Israel and Hezbollah have avoided major conflict across the Lebanese-Israeli border since 2006, though Israel has mounted attacks in Syria targeting what it said were advanced weapon deliveries to the group.

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