BEIRUT: Two days after being surrounded and attacked by suspected Hezbollah supporters while hanging campaign posters in Bint Jbeil, parliamentary candidate Ali al-Amin indirectly accused Hezbollah and the Amal Movement of holding a “monopoly” over southern Lebanon. “Resistance has never been the monopoly of one [group], but rather the duty of many,” the anti-Hezbollah candidate said during a televised news conference Tuesday. “We did not go through [Israeli] occupation just to see it replaced with another unjust despotic [reality]. ... The best gift we can give to Israel is to lose our freedom of expression,” Amin added, referring to the decadeslong occupation of southern Lebanon by Israel that ended in 2000. Though Amin did not mention Hezbollah or Amal by name, his electoral district of South III, which contains Bint Jbeil, Marjayoun, Hasbaya and Nabatieh, is a longtime Hezbollah-Amal stronghold. Amin, a journalist and editor-in-chief of the south-focused news site Janoubia, came into the spotlight Sunday after dozens of suspected Hezbollah supporters beat him up while he was hanging campaign posters. He was hospitalized with injuries as a result. A Hezbollah source later deflected blame for the attack, telling Lebanese outlet LBCI that the party “condemns resorting to violence” during electoral campaigning.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 25, 2018, on page 2.