Fragile Ceasefire in Lebanon
‘ A ceasefire aimed at silencing the guns in Lebanon remained fragile as thousands of Lebanese streamed back home to the devastated south and Hizbullah claimed it had emerged victorious.
A day after the U.N.-brokered truce went into effect, a dozen rockets targeted Israeli positions in south Lebanon in the early hours of Tuesday, an Israeli army spokesman said.
No one was injured by the rocket attacks — the first since the ceasefire went into effect — and Israeli soldiers did not return fire. But the attack underscored the volatile conditions on the ground as the tenuous truce entered its second day.’
Al-Zaman said that Iran offered to establish a new alliance with Egypt, such that both of them would support the Lebanese resistance to Israel and would work to stop Hezbollah from being disarmed. Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, who does not like Shiites very much and long ago decided that there is no percentage in fighting the Israelis and Americans, told the Iranians “No!”
Hizbullah leader Hasan Nasrallah said his organization had won a historic and unprecedented victory against Israel. (This is the sort of victory where a nerd goes up against a heavey weight champion in the ring and comes out of it alive, even if stomped on pretty badly. But it is closer to the truth than Olmert and Bush’s pronouncements that Hizbullah’s state within a state was just gone, now.) Nasrallah said that his organization would not be forcibly disarmed, nor by threats and intimidation.
I saw satellite television images of roads packed with vehicles heading back down south, as the displaced population resolves to return home.
The UNIFIL officers are worried that if the Lebanese and UN troops do not come soon, though, Hezbollah and Israeli troops could easily fall to fighting again.
I saw television footage of the destruction of downtown Nabatiyah, with dress shops and delis in ruins. There were no rocket emplacements there. No one can understand why the Israelis just destroyed the downtown.
Likewise, Aljazeera did a street interview from south Beirut, which looked like the surface of the moon. Apartment buildings were collapsed for what looked like blocks, concrete hanging down like confetti. One woman said that she was brought up there but now lived in a town to the south, where her home had been destroyed. She said that the dust, the water, everything in Dahiya was precious to her as part of the Lebanese homeland, and that the Shiites of that region had not earlier all supported Hizbullah, but now they did. She said that they were going to insist on living there and supporting Nasrallah, would show forth steadfastness in the face of Israeli bombs. Others in the crowd were shouting angry slogans.
I don’t think Olmert wiped out Hizbullah.