May 25 marks an important landmark in Hizbullah’s struggle against Zionist occupation forces in Lebanon.
Twenty years ago (May 25, 2000), Hizbullah’s valiant fighters drove the occupiers out of much of South Lebanon except the area of Sheba Farms.
It was not an easy struggle. Enormous sacrifices were offered but those that struggle in the way of Allah are rewarded with one of two things: victory or martyrdom.
While Hizbullah offered many martyrs in the liberation struggle, Allah ultimately crowned these with success.
Hizbullah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem hailed the resistance movement’s victory over the occupation forces as a “turning point” in the history of the Middle East.
He added that victory over Israel’s far better armed forces shattered the Zionist military’s invincibility myth.
Sheikh Naim Qassem made the remarks on May 25 as Lebanon celebrated the 20th anniversary of Israel’s defeat, Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Manar television network reported.
Once Hizbullah’s lightly-armed but Imaan-inspired youth shattered Israel’s myth of invincibility, it inspired other resistance movements in the region.
“We have moved from the stage of despair to hope, from surrender to resistance, from humiliation to honor, and from defeat to victory,” said Sheikh Qassem, referring to Hizbullah’s victory.
He added that the liberation of South Lebanon opened the door to more victories for Lebanon, Palestine and the entire region against the Zionist regime and American plots, including the creation of the Daesh terror group.
Dismissing the Western powers’ attempts to broker “peace”, which is code word for demanding surrender to the Zionist entity, the Hizbullah leader said they cannot be trusted.
He urged resistance movements in the region especially in Palestine to rely on Allah and intensify their efforts.
Sheikh Qassem went on: “We are currently in the midst of a war and there is still a need for resistance.”
Zionist Israel invaded Lebanon in June 1982 ostensibly to fight the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Far from putting up resistance, PLO fighters fled from the border with Israel.
Israeli tanks then rolled all the way to Beirut ultimately forcing the secular PLO and its leader Yassir Arafat to flee to Tunisia.
Under the direct supervision of Arial Sharon (the ‘Butcher of Beirut’), the Christian Phalange militias perpetrated a massacre at Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in September 1982.
Over a two-day period (September 14-16), the heavily-armed Phalange terrorists went from house to house shooting women, children and old men at point blank range. They even shot and killed animals—horses, cows and goats.
Their macabre ritual of killings continued even at night.
Israeli occupation forces surrounding the camps fired flares so that their Phalange terrorist allies could see better and continue the slaughter of innocents.
Once the Zionists had driven the PLO out of Lebanon, they started to target Lebanese villages in South Lebanon.
It was in these circumstances that the Hizbullah resistance emerged in October 1983 following a gruesome attack on a mourning procession in the town of Marjayoun.
The religious procession was commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Husain.
The attack enraged the people so much that they vowed to cleanse their villages and towns of the invaders.
On May 25, 2000, they were victorious. The Zionists with their tanks and armoured personnel carriers fled with tail between their legs.
Not surprisingly, only the Hizbullah celebrate May 25 victory while the Zionists would rather forget it.
Ayman Ahmed (not his real name, for security reasons) is Crescent’s roving correspondent in the Middle East.