The Lebanese interior minister Nehad al-Mashnouq on Friday blasted the Hezbollah-affiliated "Resistance" Brigades as “occupation brigades,” Naharnet reported.
“The latest show of force was what I read in a newspaper that the "Resistance" Brigades have a 50,000-strong army as well as domestic missions,” said Mashnouq in a speech during an honoring ceremony.
“After reading these words, I would like to say that these are not strife brigades but rather occupation brigades, and we will never tolerate this occupation under any circumstances,” the minister added.
“We were raised on the calls for resisting Israel but we will not accept that this occupation be turned into a Lebanese occupation and we will resist it with all peaceful and political means and ways. We will not tolerate it anywhere, not only at the dialogue” sessions between Hezbollah and al-Mustaqbal (Future) Movement, Mashnouq stressed.
The decision to create the Resistance Brigades was taken in 1997 by Hezbollah’s leadership. The terrorist group comprised Lebanese young men claim to fight the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon without having to officially join Hezbollah.
The group was not disbanded after Israel’s withdrawal from the South in the year 2000 and Hezbollah’s rivals have in recent years accused the Brigades of recruiting “thugs” and individuals who have criminal records.