As news spread of the capture of the two Israeli soldiers some parts of the Lebanese capital erupted in celebrations.
Hizbollah’s stronghold is in southern Lebanon but ít has a strong following in some Shi’ite neighbourhoods of Beirut. Israeli forces pulled out of Lebanon 6 years ago, and Hizbollah says it was their armed resistance that forced them out.
In January 2004 Israeli forces and Hizbollah exchanged prisoners, but the organisation says Israel is still holding many of its members. One Hizbollah member of parliament in Lebanon Hassan Fadlallah said there was a chance they could get them back now that they have two Israelis in their hands.
He said: “ This is the right of the resistance to get back its detainees in Israeli prisons. There are several Lebanese detainees and some have been held for 30 years.” Despite its popular following in parts of Lebanon, Hizbollah is considered a terrorist organisation in much of the West.