Attached below is an article from the Beirut Daily Star, one of the Arab world's more moderate newspapers. This is a follow-up to the previous six dispatches on the suicide bombs in Haifa and Jerusalem last weekend. The last of these was titled In a rare move... (December 2, 2001).
-- Tom Gross
HIZBULLAH PRAISE SUICIDE ATTACKS IN ISRAEL
Hizbullah, MPs praise the suicide attacks in Israel
By Elie Hourani
The Beirut Daily Star staff
December 4, 2001
The suicide attacks that rocked both Jerusalem and Haifa at the weekend were on Monday the object of praise by several Lebanese groups.
Hizbullah's commander of the South, Sheikh Nabil Qaouq, said that suicide attacks have defeated Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon for the first time in his entire military career.
"Sharon's downfall is imminent as a result of the Lebanese resistance's attacks and those of Palestinian fighters," Qaouq said in a speech at Yaroun. He added that it was a matter of time before the Kfar Shuba hilltops and the Shebaa Farms were liberated from Israeli occupation.
"Israel is now thinking about withdrawing from the occupied areas. But it is looking for a face-saving way to do so. But the Lebanese resistance is determined to make such a withdrawal look like an unconditional Israeli defeat," he said.
In a related development, pro-Hizbullah Baalbek MP Hussein Hajj Hassan praised the suicide operations.
"They have shaken the belief in Zionist security and undermined all the precautionary measures taken by the Israeli military institution," Hajj Hassan said in an iftar Monday at Younin.
He found it strange that Western states are prompt in supporting the Israeli stance, "yet the West does nothing when the Israelis commit crimes against women and children and assassinates intifada activists."
Also on Monday, Hizbullah's deputy secretary-general Sheikh Naim Qassem described the current situation as "not mere fighting" between the Israelis and Palestinians. "What is happening today is a historic moment for shaping the future of the entire area.
"Either the whole Middle East is reshaped to please Israel or the Occupied Territories are freed and the whole area can live in peace and quiet once again," the cleric said.
Speaking at an iftar in Ghassanieh, he said the suicide bombings were legitimate operations. He said that the US had stood by Israel since its foundation in 1948, "and now, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, the United States is even more biased in favor of Israel."
He added that "we are facing an unfair international resolution. Either we give in and accept it or keep fighting to regain our occupied land by force."