Lebanon Itself to Suffer If Resistance Is Jeopardized

January 30, 2001 - 0:0
TEHRAN Lebanon told Palestinian fighters on Sunday that it would stop them from using its southern border with Israel to launch attacks against the Jewish state. "The Lebanese government totally rejects such activities," Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri told reporters a day after the bodies of two Palestinian guerrillas killed by Israeli fire were found near the frontier. "Lebanon will not allow such activities to occur; if Palestinians want to fight Israel, they should join their brothers who are waging an Intifada against the Israeli army," he added, referring to a Palestinian uprising for independence which erupted in the West Bank and Gaza on September 28. Israel invaded Lebanon for the first time in 1978 to quash Palestinians who were launching cross-border attacks. But they had to quit 22 years later, in May 2000, only because of the resistance of the Lebanese Hizbollah and Hamas. Had it not been for the resistance of the Hizobllah in South Lebanon, the enemy would now be in the same territory. Dislodging the Hizbollah and its resistance from South Lebanon will make Lebanon vulnerable to Israeli atrocities and brutalities.

Hariri must well remember that in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal, he said resistance would continue so long as the occupied territories are not liberated, or so long as the enemy has not withdrawn from all the occupied territories. We really do not know the reason for Hariri's new stance. What is clear, however, is that the first victim of any curb on the resistance movement will be Lebanon itself. We are aware that there are pressures from various corners to stop the resistance in Lebanon. But the Lebanese government must bear in mind that the occupation has not ended. As long as there is occupation there will be resistance. No one can stop the people from resisting the occupation of their motherland. It is a natural instinct to resist the enemy; those who prevent it will assist the enemy.