Lebanon is preparing to commemorate on Wednesday the fifth anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon with a national holiday.

Schools, universities, banks, ministries and public institutions will be closed on May 25, marked as the day after Israeli forces withdrew from a border area in southern Lebanon ending 18 years of military occupation.

Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed guerrilla group that played a major role in forcing Israel to leave the border zone in south Lebanon in 2000 has pledged to continue its attacks on Israeli troops in the disputed Chebaa Farms area where the borders of Lebanon, Syria and Israel meet.

Hezbollah and the Israeli army periodically clash across the border area, which Lebanon claims, but the United Nations says is part of Syria, occupied by Israel.

Lahoud, who supports Hezbollah but has kept his army away from the border and a direct confrontation with Israel, reaffirmed his government’s policy on the Chebaa Farms, saying Tuesday he was “determined to liberate the remaining occupied Chebaa Farms from Israeli occupation.”

On Saturday, Hezbollah guerrillas attacked Israeli forces in the Chebaa Farms after the Israeli military fired on what it said was a Lebanese shepherd suspected of trying to cross the border.

Hezbollah, labeled a terrorist group by the United States, is under international pressure to disarm. The guerilla group has so far refused to bow to the pressure, including a UN resolution demanding militias in Lebanon give up their weapons. Calling it a resistance movement, not a militia, Lebanese authorities have resisted pressuring Hezbollah.

The Lebanese army has not deployed in the south, allowing Hezbollah to keep security control there since the Israeli withdrawal.

The Shiite Muslim miltant Hezbollah plans festivities in the former occupied zone to mark “Liberation and Resistance Day,” including a mass rally in the town of Bint Jbeil on Wednesday.