Former Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz on Monday tried to regain a little glory following his disastrous stint at the post by claiming the 2006 Second Lebanon War had paved the way for Hizballah’s electoral defeat at the weekend.
According to Peretz, who headed Israel’s defense forces at the time, the war had been the opening phase in a process that ultimately led to Hizballah’s failure when the Lebanese went to the polls to elect a new parliament on Sunday.
The terror group and its allies had expected to win a narrow majority in the parliament, but will instead head an opposition of 57 seats to the 71 mandates won by the pro-Western coalition of parties.
Peretz believes Hizballah would have won on Sunday if not for the 2006 Israeli military assault on Lebanon in response to a blatant cross-border provocation by Hizballah. He said that action had convinced most Lebanese that Hizballah was leading the country down a path of destruction.
Meanwhile, Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said the international community should move fast to use the outcome of the Lebanese election to demand the disarming of Hizballah in accordance with UN resolutions. Those resolutions had previously gone unimplemented because Hizballah had won veto power over the previous government as part of a coalition deal.
An official statement released by the Israeli government said it hopes the new Lebanese government will end the use of its territory as a base for violence against the Jewish state, and that it understands it will be held accountable for any attacks on Israel by its citizens.