‘If you bomb Beirut the Islamic Resistance will bomb Tel Aviv’ – Hassan Nasrallah declares in Thursday’s broadcast

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THE Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah speaking on military operations, and political developments over Al Manar TV on August 3 noted that the fourth week of the ‘open war declared by Israel on Lebanon’ has started.

He said that he wants to speak about some issues related to field and political developments, with special emphasis on developments on the ground.

Nasrallah says that the ‘mujahideen of the resistance’ are fighting ‘heroic confrontations all along the frontlines in southern Lebanon’.

Nasrallah said: ‘We said from day one that, in the land battles, our policy is not to stick to geography.

‘Also, our aim is not for all our mujahideen and young men to be killed in order to defend this point, that hill or that village. Our fighting is not for the sake of geography.

‘I said that we are not a regular army and we are not fighting the way a regular army fights. We are fighting a guerrilla war. It is in our interest to allow them to advance to villages’ entrances because this gives us the chance to attack them directly and inflict material and human losses on them. And this is our objective from the land fighting.’

Speaking about the ground confrontations against several ‘elite’ Israeli brigades, Nasrallah said that the current ground battles started since the first day of the war.

He added that the confrontations have become ‘fiercer and wider’. He referred to confrontations in Marun al-Ra’s, Aytarun and Ayta al-Sha’b. He said that ‘the mujahideen’ have repulsed the Israeli advance. He added that the fighting is still in the forward positions. He noted that ‘the Zionists were also surprised at the ground confrontation’.

He referred to two important points about the ground confrontations: The first has to do with the human element. He said that in all the confrontations, the fighters fought ‘until the last breath and until the last bullet’ despite all the ‘difficult circumstances’.

He added that experience has proven that the Israelis are fighting men who have a high level of ‘courage’ and ‘willpower’.

He continued that what the Hezbollah fighters did is a ‘miracle’.

The second point, Nasrallah says, is the ability of the ‘resistance’ to destroy Israeli tanks and military vehicles. He noted that the Israeli military tactics depend on advance by tanks and armoured vehicles.

Nasrallah says that in the ground confrontations, rocket attacks and others, ‘the enemy has depended on a policy of clear, numerous and exposed lies’. He added that this is part of the ‘psychological warfare’.

Nasrallah then gave examples of the ‘lies’ promoted by Israel concerning the progress of the battles.

He said that Israel is trying to show that it made achievements and scored victories, contrary to facts on the ground.

Nasrallah confirmed that Hezbollah had fired rockets and hit an Israeli warship off Tyre, irrespective of Israel’s denial. He said that Israel always tried to hide its losses.

Nasrallah talked about Hezbollah’s rocket attacks, noting that it deliberately stopped firing rockets when Israel suspended the air strikes on Lebanon.

He said that the Israelis mistakenly thought that Hezbollah was no longer capable of firing rockets.

He mocked the ‘stupid’ Ehud Olmert, who said that Hezbollah’s military infrastructure had been destroyed, and the ‘senile’ Shimon Perez, who claimed the same thing.

He said that the truth is that the command of the ‘resistance’ decided to stop firing rockets on Israeli towns for 48 hours to give a chance to people to leave towns or remove the rubble. He said: ‘When the resistance stops (firing rockets) for 48 hours, this means, on the military level, that the command of the Islamic Resistance still has full control and command not only on the front, but also on all rocket launchers. That is why there was no individual action or violation.’

He said that as soon as the 48-hour period ended, the Islamic Resistance fired more than 300 rockets on the Israeli towns.

Nasrallah added that the Israelis were disappointed after the resumption of rocket strikes by Hezbollah after a 48-hour lull, describing such renewed strikes as a ‘scandal’ for Israeli leaders.

He said that this prompted the Israeli chief of staff to threaten more strikes and to include Beirut in such strikes. He said every Lebanese area is targeted by Israeli strikes with the exception of Beirut.

Nasrallah said that he will not use any general terms and that he will be specific. He says: ‘If you bomb our capital, we will bomb the capital of your usurper entity. If you bomb Beirut, the Islamic Resistance will bomb Tel Aviv. The Islamic Resistance is capable of doing so, with God’s help.’

He added: ‘All your aerial bombing and land incursions will never stop our rocket strikes, even if you advance several kilometres beyond the border.’

He said Israeli political and military leaders and commentators have begun to admit ‘this fact’.

He further added: ‘I would like to emphasise that our rocket attacks on the settlements in the north, or beyond Haifa, or Tel Aviv – since we are speaking openly – are a reaction, and not an action.

‘If you attack our cities, villages, civilians and capital, we will react. Whenever you decide to stop your campaigns against our cities, villages, civilians and infrastructure, we will halt our rocket attacks on the Israeli settlements and cities.’

At 1743 gmt, Nasrallah speaks sarcastically of the Israeli military achievements, saying that he has to admit that Israel managed two ‘great’ military achievements. He said they are the killing of civilians in Qana and two landing operations in the vicinity of Baalbakk. He said the Israelis want to put pressure on Hezbollah through the killing of civilians.

He said that in the commando raids in Baalbakk, Israeli troops raided a hospital where there were no Hezbollah leaders or even wounded Hezbollah fighters.

He said the second landing operation targeted a house where there were Lebanese civilians. He described the two operations as a military and intelligence failure.

He said the operation was aimed to arrest a man whose only fault was that his name was Hassan Nasrallah. He says those who were captured in the house are not considered prisoners of war, but hostages, demanding their immediate and unconditional release.

Nasrallah addressed the Israelis, saying that they are ‘the victims’ of Israeli Prime Minister Olmert’s ‘psychological complex’ whereby he wanted to prove that he is a leader and like the historic leaders of Israel, like Ariel Sharon and Yitzhaq Rabin. However, Nasrallah said, Olmert proved that he is the ‘most failed, incompetent and foolish prime minister’ to take office in Israel.

He said the war will not succeed in returning the two captured Israeli soldiers and that the ‘resistance’ will never be defeated.

Nasrallah then began to discuss political affairs. He said US President Bush and his administration are to blame for Lebanese deaths and that Israel is just a tool in this war.

He says the US Administration is preventing a halt to this war.

Nasrallah noted increased aid for Lebanon, but he said those who wanted to help Lebanon should be aware that the destruction in Lebanon was not caused by a natural disaster, but by Israel.

He says this is not a humanitarian issue, urging efforts to stop the attacks on Lebanon.

He says Bush and the US Administration are blocking any efforts to end the war on Lebanon and urged the Arab leaders to call for putting an end to the war.

Nasrallah concluded his speech by greeting the families of the ‘martyrs’, the wounded and displaced Lebanese.