Lebanese President Emile Lahoud
Photo: Reuters
Photo: AP
Lebanese Army soldiers
Photo: AP
Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit
IDF soldiers in Lebanon during war
Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit

Lahoud: Israel attacked Lebanon to damage tourism

In interview with Kuwaiti newspaper Lebanese president says Israel intended to destroy Lebanon's prosperity. 'Lebanon is Israel's chief rival in the fields of finance, culture and tourism. Every time Lebanon builds itself up Israel attacks it,' he syas

Why did Israel attack Lebanon? Lebanese President Emile Lahoud has a completely different answer to the question at hand. According to him, Israel resolved to damage Lebanon's economy and tourism industry.


In an interview to Kuwaiti daily Al-Anbaa Lahoud said: "There is no doubt that the primary targets of the latest Israeli war in Lebanon was also to destroy the awakening and prosperity of our country. The Israelis themselves said that they want to take Lebanon 20 years back. Lebanon is Israel's chief rival in the field of finance, culture and tourism. And that is why we can see that whenever Lebanon bounces back and begins to make progress, Israel attacks it."


In regards to the war, Lahoud said that Israel had failed all the objectives they had set for themselves. "It failed in trying to write off Lebanon's strongest card, meaning the legitimate resistance against the occupation and aggression. Israel also failed in its attempts to occupy land and dictate its terms to Lebanon," he said.


Lahoud added that in his opinion a civil war will not break out in Lebanon following the war. "Israel failed in its attempt to stir a war of brothers amongst the Lebanese. This is an objective that they aggressively tried to reach throughout the war by creating divisions amongst the Lebanese."


'We were surprised by UN's request'

There is of course much praise for Hizbullah. "For 30 days Israel tried to advance to the Litani River but the resistance (Hizbullah) prevented them from moving forward and fought many hard battles, up to the point where Hizbullah laid a siege on IDF armored forces. This has been even been confirmed by Israeli military officials themselves."


"During the last three days the resistance laid such a siege on 350 Israeli soldiers that their land supply lines were cut off. They were forced to receive supplies by planes and helicopters. We must not forget the battle with the Merkava tanks which are considered to be the best and strongest tanks, but the resistance proved extraordinarily capable when faced with them," Lahoud said.


The Lebanese president also has an interesting answer in regards to the ceasefire and how it was achieved. "After Israel understood that it would have to retreat from Lebanon it threw over a million cluster bombs on villages and towns in southern Lebanon to take revenge on the residents. After the resistance laid siege on 350 Israeli soldiers Israel asked the UN and US to send the Lebanese army to the south, so we were asked to send the military troops without waiting for additional UNIFIL forces to arrive.


"We were surprised by the UN request, but we sent large army forces after Israel retreated from the areas where its soldiers were surrounded. But the Israelis, as usual, backed on their adamant support of the ceasefire as soon as the siege was lifted and their forces driven towards the border. They started dragging their feet and trying to force the conditions that Lebanon deferred," said the Lebanese president in the interview.




פרסום ראשון: 10.10.06, 15:44
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