‘Three years have passed since the Israeli enemy launched its devastating war against Lebanon,’ said Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV on Sunday.
It continued that this was ‘just after the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon was able to achieve an heroic operation and detain two Israeli soldiers whose fate remained ambiguous until the moment of the operation’s “fruit”, the release of all Lebanese detainees in Israeli Prisons . . .
‘Three years have passed on the war that ended with a divine victory for Lebanon against the Israeli enemy that’s still seeking to “learn lessons” and take “revenge” for its unprecedented defeat.
‘The 2006 Lebanon War, known in Lebanon as the July War and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War, was a 33-day Israeli aggression against Lebanon.
‘The war began on July 12, when Israel launched waves of air strikes on Lebanon after Hezbollah killed three soldiers and captured two more – later identified as Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev – on the northern border naming it “Operation Sincere Promise”.
‘The war began when Israeli warplanes bombed Beirut’s Rafiq Hariri International Airport.
‘Later, large parts of the Lebanese civilian infrastructure were destroyed claiming that they wanted to cut off roads on any coming supply for Hezbollah.
‘The civilian infrastructure included roads, bridges, and other targets such as ports, water and sewage treatment plants, electrical facilities, fuel stations, commercial structures, schools and hospitals, and homes.
‘During the war, Israel’s Air Force flew more than 12,000 combat missions, its Navy fired 2,500 shells, and its Army fired over 100,000 shells.
‘Israeli shells didn’t spare innocent people and children whom their flesh and blood were shed with daily massacres everywhere across Lebanon.
‘During the war also, Hezbollah fired rockets on Israeli military bases; they also engaged in guerrilla warfare with the Israeli forces, attacking from well-fortified positions.
‘These attacks by small, well-armed units caused serious problems to the Israeli military, especially through the use of hundreds of sophisticated anti-tank guided missiles.
‘Hezbollah destroyed 38 Israeli Merkava and damaged 82, the Merkava which is an object of pride for the Israeli industry.
‘Israeli helicopters were damaged day and night. . .
‘The attacks had included a Fajr-3 and a Ra’ad 1 [missiles].
‘Hezbollah also destroyed the Israeli warship Sa’er off the Lebanese coast.’
Meanwhile, and also on the third anniversary of the war, Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said in a statement issued on Sunday that Lebanon’s strength is its ability to hold its internal elements together, and their political unity.
Berri issued his tribute to the lives of all those that gave their lives ‘from the military and the resistance only to register a wonderful historical and glorious epoch for our people.’
Berri expressed his hope that the next Lebanese government would place the issue of compensation and that of the Litani River project at the top of its priorities.
For his part, Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh said that Lebanon’s people and army taught Israel an unforgettable lesson in 2006 adding that the third anniversary of this war should work on speeding the formation of a national unity government.
‘This defeat forced Israel to seek to issue threats and to daily violate Lebanese sovereignty and United Nations Security Council resolution 1701 that Lebanon fully commits to,’ Salloukh said.
The foreign minister who left Beirut on Sunday for Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt to attend the Non-Aligned Movement’s foreign ministers meeting, called for strengthening the country’s national unity via a speedy formation of a national unity government.
• ‘Israel is violating UN Security Council Resolution 1701 on a daily basis’, Lebanon President Michel Suleiman said in a statement issued by his press office on Saturday.
The statement’s release came one day ahead of the third anniversary of the 2006 July War on Sunday.
Lebanon was victorious in the 2006 war thanks to the efforts of the Lebanese Armed Forces, its people and the Resistance, he said.
‘Israel learned a tough lesson after the war, which led them to resort to threats and intimidation instead of the attacks that have proceeded each summer,’ the president added.
Suleiman praised the united determination of Lebanese people to confront any Israeli offensive.
The head of the Democratic Gathering parliamentary bloc MP Walid Jumblatt also expressed deep concern about recent Israeli statements on the large-scale rearmament of Hezbollah and threats by Israel to Prime Minister-designate MP Saad Hariri against including the resistance party in the new Cabinet.
Jumblatt’s visitors quoted him as saying that the July 2006 war was pivotal for assessment which he made recently with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
He warned against the ‘dangerous repercussions’ if the Lebanese did not unite to confront the Israeli threat and possible war against Lebanon.
The Lebanese daily Assafir quoted Jumblatt as saying that Sayyed Nasrallah ‘had the right to admonish me’ for his fierce rhetoric when the two leaders were in disagreement in past few years.
‘But the most important thing is that we’ve decided to turn a new page to build trust and create an atmosphere of reconciliation and dialogue.
‘This has already begun and shall continue soon through visits by Mount Lebanon delegations to Beirut’s southern suburb,’ he added.
Jumblatt renewed his criticism to the ‘Lebanon first’ slogan as well as the ‘Lebanon first’ parliamentary bloc led by MP Hariri and warned against the infiltration of isolationist thoughts into the ethics of the late Rafiq Hariri’s supporters.
Meanwhile, Israeli Northern Command chief Alan Friedman alleged on Israeli public radio on Saturday that Hezbollah has expanded its arsenal after the 2006 July War.
‘After 2006, Hezbollah has not attempted to attack northern Israel, which proves that the party incurred heavy losses during the war and the Israeli Defence Forces were capable of restoring their deterrent capacity,’ he said.
He warned Hezbollah against carrying out ‘acts of sabotage against Israel or abducting Israeli citizens and soldiers.’