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Monday, August 28, 2006

The Lebanese army and Hezbullah

I have noted before on several occasions that Lebanon's army is largely Shiite. Many Israelis feared that the Lebanese army would be unhelpful because of its ethnic makeup, but hoped otherwise. I am afraid that hope is false.

In a lengthy article about why the Lebanese government never challenged Hezbullah's dominance of the south in the six years since Israel withdrew from Lebanon, I found the following paragraphs towards the end. We knew that the Lebanese army did not intend to confiscate arms from Hezbullah; this goes much further:

Further, one of Hizbullah's websites has recently published an internal Lebanese army statement, circulated among forces in the past week, which calls for troops to "stand alongside your resistance and your people who astonished the world with its steadfastness and destroyed the prestige of the so-called invincible army after it was defeated."

The issue has also been discussed widely in the studio of Hizbullah's TV channel, Al-Manar. Its journalists repeatedly say that there is an understanding between the "resistance fighters" and the army over searching houses and fields for arms and confiscating them.


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