Sheep were slaughtered and rose petals and rice were flung in celebration as some 50,000 people turned out in the southern suburbs Monday for the arrival of the armored personnel carrier captured by Hizbullah guerrillas from the South Lebanon Army militia.
Hizbullah’s secretary-general Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah scoffed at the Israeli elections, telling the crowd that “whoever the winner is, they’re all the same and their only difference is the way they lie.”
Nasrallah said it did not matter who won, “their only choice is an unconditional withdrawal from the south.”
He added that he had comforted his supporters three years ago following the election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by describing the hawkish Likud leader as “weaker than the wing of a mosquito.”
“If Barak wins, I say that he is even weaker than a spider web,” Nasrallah said, his voice drowned by loud cheers from the 50,000-strong crowd.
Nasrallah offered to exchange the four SLA militiamen captured recently for detainees at the Khiam Detention Center.
Earlier, the coastal road through Ouzai was blocked to traffic as the APC arrived, driven by the same Hizbullah fighter who had steered it out of the Beit Yahoun outpost Saturday.
The event was the attraction of the day for many children who gazed in awe at the APC which carried Lebanese and Hizbullah flags but was painted with the Star of David.
One fighter flung an Israeli assault rifle at Nasrallah’s feet, stepped over it and then handed Hizbullah’s secretary-general his own rifle. “Tread upon the arrogance of the enemy,” the fighter said as he addresed Nasrallah during a ceremony to hand over the vehicle.