Retrospectively speaking

It is noteworthy that up until the eleventh hour, Israel never challenged Hizballah’s right to attack its soldiers in Lebanon. Thus, Israel tacitly conceded that the IDF was an occupation force in Lebanon. Only in early 2000, as seven IDF soldiers were killed in Lebanon, were the rules of the game vigorously challenged by Israel under the impact of a public that saw its enemies as terrorists and villains. The shock was as much that the “bad guys” played by the rules as that the IDF was being outplayed.

Norton, Augustus, R. 2000. “Hizballah and the Israeli Withdrawal From Southern Lebanon”. Journal of Palestine Studies XXX. no 1. p.30

Thus, even as the Israeli forces were withdrawing, they sent reassurances to local community leaders, and in the days that followed they held meetings in key locales in the formerly occupied areas. Shaykh Nabil Qaouk (who headed the resistance forces), Nasrallah, and other leading Hizballah leaders held extensive meetings with Christian clerics to reassure them this was a national victory, not a victory by one sect or militia. (…) Even the ritual pelting of Israel with stones at Fatima Gate, the crossing point just across the border from the Israeli town of Metulla, exemplifies order, not chaos. Hizballah conveniently provides stones in piles, discreetly delineating the throwing areas.

Norton, Augustus, R. 2000. “Hizballah and the Israeli Withdrawal From Southern Lebanon”. Journal of Palestine Studies XXX. no 1. p.32

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