Nasrallah threatens "hell" if Israel strikes Lebanon
Published Friday, August 17, 2012
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel on Friday that any strike on Lebanon will result in the deaths of tens of thousands of Israelis.
The head of Lebanon's most powerful faction spoke to mark al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day, an occasion began by Iran following the Islamic Revolution in 1979 as an expression of support for the Palestinian cause.
Nasrallah, in an apparent response to increasing Israeli threats of war against Lebanon this week, said Hezbollah had the ability to "change the face of Israel."
"We, Hezbollah, with our capabilities I cannot say that we can destroy Israel, but I can say that we can turn the lives of millions of Israelis in occupied Palestine into real hell," he said.
"The Israelis must realize that the cost of an aggression on Lebanon will be very high and cannot be compared to the cost of war in 2006."
"To the Lebanese, I want to say, stay rest assured. And to Israel, I want to say, take us seriously."
Nasrallah added that Hezbollah missiles have already spotted targets in Israel, which would have significant consequences for the Jewish state.
"There are some targets I wont name in occupied Palestine, which can be targeted with a small number of missiles. I'd like to tell them (Israel), we know of a number of targets, not a high number because we do not need a high number. And we have the missiles and they are ready and hidden."
"If we are forced to hit these targets to protect our country and our people, we will not hesitate," Nasrallah warned.
The Hezbollah leader said any Israeli calculation that a preemptive strike, similar to the 1967 war, would insulate it from attack was misplaced.
"Maybe the Israelis believe that warplanes can destroy all missiles and they will be safe like in the 1967 war," he said.
On Iran, Nasrallah noted Israeli politicians were in "disagreements" over whether to strike the Islamic republic, which he said was testament to Tehran's strength.
"There is a debate [in Israel], should we strike Iran or not? Netanyahu and Barak want to, but they are confronting a huge rejection of consensus from Israel's military and security establishments who are opposed to the strike," he said.
Nasrallah pointed to Israel's failure in the 2006 war against Lebanon as a key factor behind the Israeli military's reluctance to endorse a strike against Iran.
"Barak has held several meetings with the Ministry of Defense and he tried to convince military leaders to strike Iran, but this was rejected."
"This led Barak to accuse the generals that the shock of 2006 is preventing them and leading them to object to striking Iran. The lesson learned from 2006 is controlling high ranking Israeli military officials in 2012, and yet, it happened six years ago," he mocked.
The Hezbollah leader was also critical of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's decision to suspend Syria at a summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this week, accusing the body of pushing Syrians into further conflict.
"If the summit wanted to take responsibility and was really concerned with Palestine it should have taken in Syria, and not suspended Syria. It should have told them to participate in dialogue even if it's an argument," he said.
"The OIC should have formed a group from high ranking leaders to go to Damascus, Ankara, Doha, Riyadh and all places linked to the conflict to tell them to stop the bloodshed and move to dialogue."
"That's the approach they should have taken, but they want to continue what has begun in Syria. They are pushing the Syrians towards bloodshed."
Nasrallah also lashed out at Lebanese media for its sensationalist coverage of the recent kidnapping saga in Lebanon.
"What is worse, and with all due respect is that the the media performance was horrific in this issue, catastrophic."
"The media were concerned with who broadcast news first and ignored that the 11 families have feelings," referring to false reports by Lebanese media outlets on Wednesday that the 11 hostages still in Syria were killed in an airstrike.
Commenting on the kidnapping of Hassan al-Mokdad by Syrian rebels in Damascus on Tuesday, Nasrallah denied Mokdad was linked to Hezbollah.
"Hassan al-Mokdad was accused of being a Hezbollah sniper, but this is not true," he said.