Arab media mocks Hizbullah 'victory'

A-Sharq Alawsat: Radwan deal cost more than $7 billion and over 1,200 dead Lebanese citizens.

kuntar nazi 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
kuntar nazi 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
An independent Lebanese Web site called Now Lebanon on Thursday published an editorial questioning whether the heavy price that Lebanon had paid during the second Lebanon war justified what Hizbullah eventually received from Israel. Under the title, "Was is worth it?" the Web site published a list comparing the "net losses" and the "net gains" in the aftermath of the prisoner exchange between Israel and Hizbullah. The only "net gains" it found were the release of Samir Kuntar and four Hizbullah men, in addition to the return of 199 bodies of Arabs. However, it noted that the four Hizbullah men who were released together with Kuntar were "technically not a net gain as they were captured during the 2006 war." Referring to the war triggered by the abduction of two IDF soldiers, the Lebanese Web site pointed out the following "net losses": 1200 civilians dead - 400 of them under 13; 4400 civilians injured - 700 permanently; one million displaced from their homes; 125,000 housing units destroyed or damaged; 250 Hizbullah fighters killed; 80% of some southern villages destroyed; 38,850,951 sq.m. contaminated by cluster bombs; 188 wounded by cluster bombs - 67 of them children; 20 killed by left-over cluster bombs - five of them children; $5 billion in economic damages; $15b. in long-term costs to the economy; $64 million cleanup of 12,000 tons of oil; 91 bridges destroyed; Northern Ghajar reoccupied and the continuing brain drain of Lebanese. Now Lebanon describes itself as an independent and non-sectarian Web site that includes members from all Lebanese political, ethnic, religious and socio-economic groups and persuasions. Another article published Thursday on the same site mocked Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah's declaration that Lebanon had become the "first Arab country in the Israeli-Arab struggle to close its detainee file." The article pointed out that many Lebanese continue to languish in Syrian jails. "The exact number of prisoners and detainees [in Syrian prisons] is not known and Syrian authorities have a history of keeping silent on the issue," the article said. While Hizbullah on Wednesday went to great lengths in its attempts to paint the prisoner swap with Israel as a victory, emphasizing the fact that Nasrallah had kept to his word and managed to release murderer Samir Kuntar, a leading Arab paper ridiculed the perceived "victory." "The Radwan deal," the headline of the London-based pan-Arabic daily Asharq Al Awsat cynically ran on Thursday, "cost Hizbullah over $7 billion, more than 1,200 dead and 4,500 wounded Lebanese citizens." The paper referred to the exchange by the name given it by Hizbullah. Radwan was the nom de guerre of Imad Mughniyeh, the Hizbullah terror mastermind killed several months ago in a car bombing in Syria. In Lebanon, Al Anwar carried an editorial piece which said it was "shameful to see members of the government in Beirut join the celebrations of Hizbullah." Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report