The attack on Israel was a glorious operation, but one that was ‘purely Palestinian’. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah today gave his first speech since the start of the war. Supporters shot guns in celebration, but many Lebanese are also disappointed.
Because Nasrallah seems to be somewhat withdrawing his hands from the conflict: “Between the lines you actually hear him say that Hezbollah is not going to do more than they are doing now. He says that Hezbollah knew nothing about Hamas’ attack on Israel, but no one in Lebanon believes that,” says Nora Stel, assistant professor of conflict studies at Radboud University.
Ambivalent mix of reactions
Couple does a lot of research into Hezbollah and is often in Lebanon: “Many Lebanese have the feeling that if Nasrallah doesn’t go ‘all in’ who will? They are afraid that the Palestinians will now have to do it themselves and that a genocide will take place.”
Yet many people are also relieved: “They were very afraid that Lebanon would be drawn into a war. That does not seem to be happening. So it is a very ambivalent mix of reactions.”
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The two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict explained
Nasrallah’s speech was widely viewed in Lebanon. Squares across the country were packed to watch the speech on big screens. “The country held its breath today. A friend sent me in advance that this speech determined its fate. That is how the Lebanese feel,” says Stel.
Because the war in Lebanon evokes many traumatic memories of the year 2006. After Hezbollah took Israeli soldiers hostage, Israel responded with many rocket rains on the south of Lebanon and on Beirut.
A third of the armed forces
However, Hezbollah is not completely withdrawing from the war. Suppose: “I expect the shelling between Israel and Hezbollah will continue as normal.”
“Nasrallah indicated that a third of Hezbollah is already deployed. But that will not be more for the time being,” says Stel.
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