Middle East News
Hezbollah warns Israel not to venture into Lebanon
Jan 7, 2009, 12:34 GMT
Beirut - The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah Wednesday warned Israel from venturing into a new attack against Lebanon, saying it would be 'nothing compared to the July 2006 war.'
'What they (Israelis) saw in the July War is nothing compared to what we have prepared for them in the case of a new Israeli aggression,' Nasrllah told thousands of his followers on the tenth and final day of Ashoura, a commemoration of the slaying of Imam
Hussein by a Sunni caliph in the 7th century, in Beirut's southern suburb.
'Should Israel decide to launch an attack against Lebanon, the response would be far more severe than that of the July War, Nasrallah said.
Nasrallah was referring to a 33-day war Israel fought against Hezbollah on Lebanese territory after his movement detained two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid in July of 2006.
Some 1,200 Lebanese were killed, mainly civilians, and close to 196 Israeli soldiers died in the aggression, which destroyed much of Lebanon's major infrastructure.
Nasrallah added that Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert was quoted as telling the French president Nicolas Sarkozy during his visit to Israel on Monday: 'Today Hamas and Tomorrow Hezbollah.'
'I say to Olmert, the failure, the defeated in Lebanon: You will not be able to terminate Hamas, and you will not be able to terminate Hezbollah. Your warplanes will not frighten us.'
Nasrallah has been addressing his followers daily during the past nine Ashoura days. His speeches had been relatively calm, but Wednesday's final speech slammed Arab and Western states and announcing that the resistance was ready for 'any war' with Israel.
'I believe that the July War and the Gaza crisis should be considered proof that the choice of resistance is the best way to confront the enemy (Israel),' Nasrallah told his followers.
Nasrallah lashed out at Western and Arab leaders alike for their stance on the latest Gaza crisis, and in particular Arab countries that still have normal ties with Israel at a time when more than 680 people were killed in Gaza.
He advised Arab countries to follow the path of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who expelled the Israeli ambassador to Venezuela in protest against the Israeli aggression on Gaza.
Nasrallah also criticized Egypt, which has refused to open the Rafah border crossing unless the area was monitored by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' forces and EU monitors.
'Yesterday, an Egyptian official asked if the UN Security Council needed 600 martyrs to take action? I ask the Egyptian official the same: Will it take 600 martyrs and over 2,000 wounded for him to open the Rafah border crossing?'
Nasrallah also touched on an Egyptian lawsuit against him.
'Some of our brothers (in Hezbollah) informed me that a group of Egyptian lawyers, close to the ruling regime in Egypt, had filed a lawsuit against me to the International Criminal Court because I called on the Egyptians to pressure their cabinet to open the Rafah border crossing,' he said.
'They considered my call as a call for a coup d'état. I consider this lawsuit a medal of honour that I will be proud of even after I die,' he said.