Hizbollah Displays Strength on Jerusalem Day

Published December 22nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

More than a thousand Hizbollah supporters gathered Friday to watch a parade staged by fighters of the Shiite Muslim militia in southern Beirut, for the "World Jerusalem Day". 

The various Hizbollah units, named after Palestinians who died since the al-Aqsa Intifada, the uprising that started on September 28, paraded for two hours, trampling US and Israeli flags on their way. 

Hymns in hommage to the 300 martyrs of the Intifada, based on well-known military tunes and announcing Hizbollah's march to Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, were played throughout the parade. 

Minister of Social Affairs Assaad Diab, attended the parade, representing Lebanese President Emile Lahoud. 

Hizbollah secretary general Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said Friday in a speech that the Jewish state should cease to exist and rejected any compromise with Israel. 

Hizbollah has planned several rallies across the country to mark "Jerusalem Day", first conceived after the 1979 Islamic revolution by the late founder of Islamic Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. It is observed each year on the last Friday of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. 

Some 30,000 Lebanese and Palestinians, who had come from southern Lebanon and refugee camps, demonstrated in the streets of the seaside city of Tyre. 

Scouts led the procession of this two-hour long demonstration, brandishing banners calling for the liberation of Palestine and the demise of Israel, and lashing the US for supporting 'Zionist terrorism'. 

Hizbollah MP Mohammad Raad claimed in a speech that "Jerusalem should be in the hands of the stone throwers and the heroes of the Intifada". 

"Zionist settlers should leave the West Bank and the Mujahedeen (fighters of Islam) will pursue their fight to free the whole of Palestine", he added. 

The Shiite fundamentalist militia which is supported by Damascus, Beirut and Tehran, boasts it was responsible for forcing Israeli troops out of southern Lebanon May 24. 

Also, about 150 members of the al-Mahdi scouts, a youth organization of the Shiite fundamentalist group Hizbollah, gathered at Fatima Gate at Lebanon's border with Israel, an AFP correspondent witnessed. 

The scouts, accompanied by a music band, waved Hizbollah, Lebanese and Palestinian flags, shouting anti-Israeli slogans, he said. 

The youths threw stones onto the Israeli side of the border as groups of them torched US and Israeli flags, he said -- BEIRUT (AFP)  




© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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