Press TV, Beirut
May 25th marks the 22nd anniversary of Lebanon’s liberation from the Israeli occupation, a national holiday seen by many in Lebanon as a true independence day.
Dr. Naziha Saleh is from a small town on the southern border. She tells PressTV that the Israeli aggressions began in 1948, but intensified in 1982, when Israel’s invasion reached the capital Beirut.
She recalls how in the early hours of the full-scale invasion, news of resistance operations began and that the liberation would be the outcome although hard to believe.
Israeli troops began their withdrawal on May 24th 2000; the masses marched to their home towns and villages forcing the Israeli collaborators to flee their positions.
When the first rumors of an Israeli withdrawal spread, people from all areas rushed to the buffer zone. Many of those people’s home towns had been under occupation for some 20 years. It was the people's spirit along with continuous resistance operations that secured the first ever unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli army since 1948.
Former Lebanese detainees in Israeli jails say this liberation is the only national holiday that was truly Lebanese and paid for with so many sacrifices.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has stressed that the future challenge for the resistance group is liberating the Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shuba Hill which were occupied by Israel in 1967 as well as liberating Lebanon’s natural resources which have become part of bargaining efforts by the US mediators.