Hezbollah’s political and military influence has been a constant factor in Lebanese decision-making since Israel’s withdrawal in 2000. Despite the country’s deteriorating situation under a corrupt political system, Hezbollah has remained a key player and continues to maintain its dominance in Lebanon.
There are many reasons why Hezbollah has been successful, including its widespread support from Lebanon’s Shiite population, who see the group as their protector and savior. However, it is essential to note that Hezbollah’s claim of liberating Lebanon is not entirely accurate.
Before Israel’s withdrawal, southern Lebanon was controlled by the PLO, who launched attacks against Israel, resulting in Israel’s 1982 ground operation. The PLO’s presence in southern Lebanon led to many Lebanese suffering from their injustices and atrocities. Interestingly, many members of the first Hezbollah leadership council were former PLO members.
After Israel’s withdrawal, Hezbollah continued to attack Israel as part of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon. However, they also targeted the Amal movement, which allowed them to expand their influence over Shiite areas in Lebanon. Eventually, Hezbollah eliminated the Amal movement and used its security and military arms to expand their control.
Despite Israel’s withdrawal, Hezbollah has seized significant areas of southern Lebanon, claiming them as “security areas belonging to the resistance” and preventing owners from accessing their properties. Many of these lands were forcibly confiscated, without the owners’ consent. Despite numerous cases brought by citizens against Hezbollah for their stolen properties, the Lebanese judiciary system has been hesitant to challenge the group.
In conclusion, while Hezbollah remains a dominant force in Lebanon, their claim of liberating the country is questionable, given their tactics and treatment of citizens. It is essential to consider Hezbollah’s actions critically and seek solutions that prioritize the rights and well-being of all Lebanese citizens.