The Hezbollah chief has warned of a “psychological war” against Lebanon’s resistance movement, saying the media propaganda campaign is meant to prepare the ground for a crisis in the Middle Eastern country.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks on Wednesday amid growing outrage at anti-Hezbollah comments made by Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi following a retaliatory rocket attack by the resistance movement on the Israeli-occupied territories.
Nasrallah cautioned against sectarian, political and tribal reactions on social media that spark hatred of friends and allies.
“Today, the most dangerous and important tool of the enemies’ propaganda war is social networks,…which are both a threat and an opportunity. We must turn the threat into an opportunity and use it,” he added.
Nasrallah also urged Hezbollah supporters to “fortify” themselves against “the psychological war” and refrain from accusing others without reasons or insulting individuals over disagreements.
“Our country is in a critical stage and we are in the midst of a hard and long battle,” he said. “The supporters of the resistance must be vigilant and bear some level of responsibility. Every person who expresses his opinion is respected and insults are not allowed.”
On Wednesday, Israel struck an area in southern Lebanon in response to alleged rocket fire towards the occupied lands.
Two days later, Hezbollah units hit open fields near Israeli positions, using dozens of rockets. Israeli media said that Hezbollah’s retaliatory rocket attack sent settlers in the occupied Golan Heights and Galilee scrambling for shelters.
On Sunday, Rahi called the Lebanese army to “take control of” the southern part of the country, Hezbollah’s main base.
“We call upon the Lebanese army, which is responsible with the international forces for the security of the South, to take control of the entire lands of the South, to strictly implement Resolution 1701 and to prevent the launching of missiles from Lebanese territory, not for the sake of Israel’s safety, but rather for the safety of Lebanon,” Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) quoted him as saying.
Hezbollah supporters denounced Rahi’s comments on social media, using the hashtags “Patron of bias” and “patron of surrender.”
Al-Manar reporter Ali Shoeib addressed the patriarch in a tweet, writing, “Just for once, ask the Lebanese army to prevent the Israeli attacks instead of asking it to prevent the firing of rockets!!”