Walls will not suffice to protect Israel, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Friday at a gathering of the party’s supporters in Bint Jbeil marking the twelve-year anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon.
Nasrallah called the occasion “Resistance and Liberation Day” – “resistance” connoting Hezbollah’s terror and paramilitary activity.
Nasrallah first addressed the Syrian activists who had kidnapped Shi’ite Lebanese pilgrims and released them earlier Friday, calling the kidnapping a “painful incident.” He then drew a parallel between the kidnapping and “the Israeli occupation of Palestine, when the Zionist occupation was abducting Lebanese.”
The Hezbollah leader said that at the time, the Lebanese state failed to defend southern Lebanon and the Beqaa, necessitating the creation of “resistance” groups like Hezbollah.
On the issue of the 1982 Lebanon War, Nasrallah remarked that it had been a joint US-Israeli “conspiracy” to position Lebanon within Israel’s sphere of influence, but that resistance had “foiled the project.” The proof, he said, was Israel’s realization that it could not keep its military forces on Lebanese soil, as “the Lebanese land was not safe to implement its projects.” Thus, he concluded, Lebanon was “liberated with dignity.”
However, Nasrallah continued, Israel caused Lebanon to plunge into sectarian strife by withdrawing from Lebanese territory without notifying its “collaborators,” or Lebanese allies. And yet, Israel is scared of future involvement in Lebanon, he added.
“From May 25, 2000 until now, except for the July war in 2006, the Israeli enemy hasn’t dared attack Lebanon, by virtue of the army-people-resistance equation,” Nasrallah said. “Israel, which had been attacking us, fears today that we may attack it. For this reason, the Zionist entity started the construction of the wall” along the Lebanese border. This wall, Nasrallah said, would not suffice to help Israel.
“Today there is a party whose rockets can reach any location in the occupied territories [Israel]. The wall won’t defend them and their existence which has been based on blood and massacres,” the Hezbollah leader said.
In recent years, Hezbollah has shifted to greater participation in Lebanon’s political sphere and what it calls “national dialogue,” or inter-Lebanese reconciliation. In Friday’s speech, Nasrallah reiterated Hezbollah’s readiness to participate in talks with other Lebanese factions without any preconditions.