Addressing rally marking 12 years since IDF pullout from south Lebanon, Islamic group leader says
"Hezbollah and all its fighters proved there are Arabs of a different kind. The enemy recognizes our achievement. Israel's (border) fences won't protect it." -
Hezbollah supporters gathered in Bint Jbeil Friday evening to mark 12 years since the Israeli army's withdrawal from the security zone in south Lebanon.
The Shiite group's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, addressed the rally via a video-link from his hideout. "This is a holiday for all the prisoners, the (released prisoners), the injured and the families of those who were killed (while fighting Israel). The resistance thwarted the regional plan led by Israel and the US in 1982, (which included) an invasion of Lebanon."
"The ground you are standing on now was occupied in 1982. The land was returned to its owners. Israel did not enter Lebanon to withdraw from it – it has aspirations regarding Lebanon," he said.
The Shiite group's secretary general added: "Hezbollah and all its fighters proved there are Arabs of a different kind. The enemy recognizes our achievement. Israel's (border) fences won't protect it.
Nasrallah, who appeared in public only twice since the end of theSecond Lebanon War, continued to say that "for 12 years (Israel) has not dared attack our villages or our sovereignty. Who is preserving this equation? The people, the army and the resistance – not the UN or anyone else."
Nasrallah said the barrier Israel is erecting along its border with Lebanon "proves that the Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon constituted the final (nail) in the coffin of a greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates (rivers).
"Currently there are people on the (Lebanese border with Israel) who not only throw stones, but are threatening to fire missiles at every possible location in Israel," the sheikh said.
The Hezbollah leader, who follows Israeli politics closely, also addressed Kadima's controversial decision to join the Likud-led coalition. Some analysts have claimed that the unity government agreement was a possible sign of an imminent Israeli strike on Iran.
But according to Nasrallah, the unity deal was related to threats to topple Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government. However, he stressed that Hezbollah "must not remain calm in the face of such a government and the possibility of an attack on our homeland."
Two weeks ago Nasrallah said Hezbollah has bolstered its capabilities and can now destroy any specific target within "occupied Palestine."
"The era in which we are afraid and they are not is over," he said. "The time has come to declare that we are here to stay, and they must cease to exist."
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