Hezbollah motorcade drives length of border to celebrate Israeli withdrawal – Middle East Monitor

Hundreds of Hezbollah and Amal supporters drove a motorcade alongside the length of the Blue Line – the UN-demarcated border between Israel and Lebanon – on Monday to celebrate 20 years since Israeli forces withdrew from southern Lebanon. Videos on social media present hordes of males using bikes adorned with Hezbollah, Amal and, in some instances, Lebanese flags alongside the border.

The motorcade break up up into 20 teams and rode from the coastal city of Naqoura to Khiam, in accordance to a report within the Daily Star. Sources within the group mentioned that they’d reply to a name from Hezbollah Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah to liberate all of Palestine.

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The group didn’t cross the border, however troopers from the UN’s peacekeeping drive (UNIFIL) have been stationed within the space to forestall a breach of the Blue Line or clashes between forces from each nations. Bikers have been prevented by the UN troops from driving in the direction of the street the place they have been stationed.

Israel occupied southern Lebanon for 18 years however withdrew from most of the nation on the 24th May 2000. The withdrawal uncovered the circumstances within the infamous Khiam Prison, which was administered by the South Lebanon Army, a Lebanese militia which oversaw the detention, torture and homicide of 1000’s of Lebanese residents within the jail, which has since been destroyed. Even as not too long ago as March this yr, the Lebanese authorities have been pursuing some of those that labored there.

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Lebanese-American Amer Fakhoury, who was accused of torturing and murdering prisoners whereas serving within the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army and was referred to as the “Butcher of Khiam”, stood trial early this yr. Fakhoury was acquitted as a result of the alleged offences occurred greater than ten years in the past, and regardless of a courtroom order barring him from worldwide journey for a interval of two months, he was airlifted out of the nation from the US Embassy in Beirut.

Tensions between the US and Lebanon rose dramatically throughout the course of Fakhoury’s six-months in detention, in tandem with an growing quantity of incidents on the Blue Line. On 15th April, UNIFIL troopers broke up a stand-off between Lebanese and Israeli forces, after allegations that troops had breached the Blue Line. On 19th May, Israeli forces shot a shepherd for allegedly crossing the UN-demarcated border.

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