Beirut lies in ruins but Hizbollah remains a powerful force throughout the Lebanese capital. Its weapons now are food and financial aid to boost reconstruction efforts and win a fierce public relations battle. Every food sack being handed out carries the stamp of the Shiite party. Its volunteers are also on hand across the city to to make sure residents’ pleas for help do not go unheard. There are reports that every householder is being offered 10,000 US dollars for every storey in their property destroyed in the bombing. One Hizbollah member defended the move as the only protection available to people. “When the Lebanese state possesses a real army capable of countering Israeli army attacks and securing our borders, then we will no longer need to be armed.”
While it took the Lebanese government a week to announce emergency measures after fighting ended Hizbollah started distributing aid immediately. Just one of the reasons why Hizbollah chief, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah enjoys widespread support.