HEZBOLLAH Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has spoken on the second anniversary of the end of the war of July-August 2006, or what Hezbollah calls the ‘Divine Victory’.

At the beginning of the speech, and before talking about the war anniversary, Nasrallah offered his condolences to the families of the Lebanese soldiers and civilians who were killed in a bombing in Tripoli on 13 August.

He said: ‘This crime, which was carried out yesterday as Lebanon prepares for entering a new phase on more than one domestic and regional level, is a crime that must be condemned by all Lebanese.

‘It must be an incentive for all of us to leave the state of tension, friction, dispute and nervousness, to the phase of cooperation to immunise our country against all dangers and threats.’

Speaking about the second ‘Divine Victory’ anniversary, Nasrallah expressed gratitude and respect for those who were killed, wounded, or harmed during the war. He also thanked other countries that supported Lebanon during that war. He said that as the time passes, there have been new revelations about the huge military and security capabilities used by Israel and the volume of international and regional ‘collusion’ with Israel.

On the other hand, he says the war reflected the capabilities of the Lebanese people. He says what happened during that war was a ‘true miracle’ and a ‘divine victory’ against the strongest army in the region, supported by the ‘strongest and most vicious tyrants of the world.’

He said the second anniversary showed that the repercussions of the war are still continuing, both regionally and within Israel.

On the effects of the war on Israel, Nasrallah said: ‘The repercussions continue within the enemy entity and its army, in which the majority, if not the entire first line of commanders and generals, have been either dismissed or have resigned.

‘It exported some of those failed general, such as General Gal Hirsch, who went to Georgia.

‘That miserable government entrusted him with establishing, training, and rehabilitating the Georgian Special Forces.

‘Georgia, which relied on Israeli experts and Israeli weapons in confronting Russia, is facing the failure it has learned from failed generals.

‘By the way, what happened in Georgia these days is a lesson for all of those who accept to be pushed by America into adventures, uncalculated wars, and hopeless confrontations. At the end, America abandons them, and simply issues a statement as a lip service, for its interests are above anything else.’

Nasrallah also commented on Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak’s assertions that Israel’s failure in 2006 was because of the lack of combat expertise among the command that waged that war.

He sarcastically reminds Barak that the Lebanese resistance imposed on him a ‘humiliating withdrawal’ from southern Lebanon in 2000, and did not allow him to make any political or security gains. He says as the political repercussions of that war in Israel continue, ‘the political life of the entire political and military crew that led the battle has ended.’

On the regional level, Nasrallah said that after the war, the ‘New Middle East’ plan was frozen, but now two years after the war the project seems to have been put off for a long time to come.

He said he no longer hears US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talk about the New Middle East, which he says could have inevitably led to the division of some Arab and Islamic countries.

He said also as a result of the war on the regional level ‘Israel stands confused at the gates of Gaza, accepts the calm, wagers on the siege, and admits the failure to confront the rockets of the Palestinian resistance.’

On Israel’s position on Syria, Nasrallah said: ‘Israel itself is moving from the threats of war against Syria to adopting the strategy of negotiations with it anew and working on breaking its relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the resistance movements.’

He said: ‘Israel is standing horrified and hesitant in front of the Islamic Republic of Iran, not knowing whether to move forward or backward.’

He said another result of the war was strengthening the ‘culture of resistance.’

On Iraq, Nasrallah praised the ‘true resistance,’ which he says does not kill innocent civilians, as happened today when suicide bombers attacked Shi’ite pilgrims in Karbala.

He said those who commit such acts are ‘criminal groups that have nothing with the project of resistance in Iraq.’ He noted the growing support for the resistance in Iraq, saying that the July war was a basic factor for the increased support for the ‘resistance’ in Iraq.

Nasrallah also spoke about the return of Lebanese prisoners from Israel, noting that he will not talk about some aspects of the swap deal with Israel until the DNA tests on ‘four martyrs,’ including Dalal al-Mughrabi and Yahya Skaff, are completed. He says he will hold a ‘special news conference’ in the next few days to talk about this file and the file of missing Lebanese and other prisoners.

Nasrallah then began to talk about the formation of a new government in Lebanon. He said the new government issued a policy statement which was ‘fair to the resistance and disappointed the enemy.’

Nasrallah also spoke about Israeli officials’ talk about Hezbollah’s growing power.

He said this talk increased after the exchange of prisoners. He said he will comment on this issue in view of its importance for Lebanon and the region. ‘Definitely, nobody expects me to stand up now to say that we have a new weapon or that we do not have a new weapon. This is not our habit.’

He says Hezbollah speaks about its weapons only as part of managing the conflict with Israel. In the 2006 war Israel was surprised by the weapons owned by Hezbollah, adding: ‘Therefore, we are not interested in denying or in confirming. If the Israelis threaten us we will not be afraid and rush to deny. We will neither deny nor confirm.’ He said the Israeli clamour about Hezbollah’s weapons is part of the campaign aiming at disarming Hezbollah.

He declared: ‘All the Lebanese should be alert to this point: Disarming the resistance in Lebanon is a declared Israeli objective.

‘I am not divulging special or secret information; this is being declared on TV, satellite channels, and the news media. The Israelis talk about this daily and make threats about it too.’

Nasrallah said the Israeli clamour about Hezbollah weapons aims at discouraging Hezbollah from developing its weapons, putting pressure on the Lebanese national dialogue, exaggerating Hezbollah power to acquire more US and Western support.

He said: ‘Yes, we should confront this clamour strongly. Lebanon or anybody in Lebanon must not yield to this extortion and uproar.’

Speaking about Israeli threats to target Hezbollah, Nasrallah said: ‘I tell the Zionists that we are not afraid of you, and we were never afraid of you. You can say whatever you want and do whatever you want. We know that you plan for new assassinations against the leaders of the resistance, but this will not push us back.

‘In the past, you killed Shaykh Raghib Harb; you killed former Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyid Abbas Al-Musawi, and many other leaders of the resistance.

‘You also killed dear commander Al-Hajj Imad Mughniyah.’

He added: ‘We will remain steadfast here. I tell you that we will work day and night and our main concern is to make Lebanon stronger with its state, army, people, and resistance and to have the upper hand, God willing. As for you, the Zionists, your threats, which are part of your language and not ours, I say: Go to hell.’