Three large packets containing thousands of the leaflets were ejected from three Israeli army helicopters and floated down by parachute into the centre of Tyre, which lies 20km from Israel‘s northern border.
The pamphlet addressesed Lebanese citizens saying:
“O citizens of Lebanon, Who is ‘protecting Lebanon’? Who is lying to you? Who sends yours sons into a battle for which they are not prepared? Who wishes for the return of ruin and destruction? Hizbollah brings on the worst kind of damage. Who are the tools in the hands of the Syrians and Iranians? he state of Israel is awake, watching over the protection of its citizens and sovereignty.
The State of Israel”
The propaganda assault followed fierce clashes on Monday between Hizb Allah and Israeli occupation forces in which four Hizb Allah members were killed and 11 Israeli occupation soldiers were wounded.
Hizb Allah sees itself as the protector of Lebanese sovereignty in the south and carries out operations against the Israeli army who still occupies the Shebaa Farms area, claimed by Beirut.
The leaflet drop was condemned
The Lebanese government condemned the drop, with Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh saying Israeli violations of Lebanese territory were a threat to peace.
“We seek calm and stability, but this calm and stability must include our airspace, waters and all our land,” Salloukh said in a statement.
Hezb Allah dismissed the leaflets as “an expression of Israeli failures in facing Hezb Allah”, the group’s media chief, Mohammed Afif, said in a statement.
Shortly after the helicopter incursion into Lebanese airspace, six Israeli warplanes roared over the eastern sector of south Lebanon, including the towns of Nabatiyah and Marjayun, and then over Tyre, Lebanese police said.
Monday’s clashes were described by Israel‘s Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz as the fiercest since Hizb Allah in 2000 forced the Jewish state to withdraw from most of south Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.
“No one dares disarm Hizb Allah and deploy the Lebanese army in the south of Lebanon …”
Supported by both Syria and Iran – both under increasing pressure from Washington, the main ally of the Jewish state – Hizb Allah is the only Lebanese group not to have been disarmed at the end of Lebanon‘s 1975 to 1990 civil war.
Israel‘s Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom complained on Wednesday that the Hizb Allah could not continue to remain armed.
“No one dares disarm Hizb Allah and deploy the Lebanese army in the south of Lebanon. This situation cannot last and Israel knows how to act in an appropriate manner in the right place,” Shalom told public radio.