Nasrallah during commemoration of ‘Qoneitra martyrs’: We do not want war but we do not fear it

JANUARY 30, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, spoke on Friday to his supporters via giant screens at a celebration commemorating the “martyrs of Qoneitra,” whereby he asserted that his party did not seek a war with Israel, but did not shy away from it in cowardice either.

Nasrallah saluted the families of those who perished during the Israeli raid on Syria’s Qoneitra, without forgetting the martyrs of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) who died in defence of Lebanon’s Ras Baalbek in the Bekaa against takfirists, and continue to sacrifice their lives on daily basis for the sake of their country.

A throng of party figures and Hezbollah supporters gathered at Sayyed al Shouhada stadium in Rweiss. Among those present were Chairman of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy in the Iranian Shura Council Alaeddin Boroujerdi, MP Ali Bazzi representing Speaker Nabih Berri, and Syrian ambassador, Ali Abdul Kareem Ali.

Nasrallah praised the resistance fighters who died in Qoneitra, and thanked those who offered their condolences to him. He hoped that he and others like him would also have the “honour of dying as martyrs.”

“Our region has been suffering for decades from a cancerous existence called Israel, a terrorist state of corruption…it continues to occupy the land…attack Gaza…threaten Al Aqsa mosque…and breach Palestinians’ human rights,” said Nasrallah, blaming Israel for backing extremist groups in Syria and shelling regime positions under various pretexts.

“In addition to occupying Shebaa Farms in Lebanon, it also does not recognize resolution 1701,” Nasrallah added, warning that Lebanon was in danger.

The Hezbollah leader went on to say that Israel was bullying the entire region, taking advantage of wars raging in neighbouring countries amid “a complete absence of Arab states and what is called the Arab League.”

“There is no such thing as an Arab League.”

Nasrallah gave his version of the events of the Qoneitra attack, which took place on the 18th of January of this year, stating that the presence of “seven brothers” in two civilian cars in Qoneitra was merely for an “inspection tour” of the region, when they were targeted by an Israeli chopper. He dubbed Israel’s raid an intentional “assassination.”

“It was crystal clear for us early on that we must retaliate [to Qoneitra attack] as the enemy must be punished for his crime…it is a thing worth the sacrifice even if things have to be taken to the very end. We chose the nature and location of the operation and we were ready for the worst case scenario,” he said in reference to a recent Hezbollah attack on an Israeli military convoy in Shebaa Farms which left two IDF soldiers killed and others injured.

Nasrallah boasted the bravery of his fighters who launched a frontal attack rather than an aerial one like the Israelis.

“The resistance in Lebanon is at its best shape, presence and preparation, while the Israeli army is incapable of facing the resistance in the field. This is Israel which we defeated in 2006 and in Gaza, it is feebler than a spider’s house,” the Secretary General said, referring to the July war of 2006 which Israel launched after Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. A month-long-war ensued which left most of Hezbollah’s strong-holds in Beirut and other regions of Lebanon completely destroyed.

“We do not want to go to war, but we are not afraid of it,” he declared.

“In the past we used to differentiate between assassinations and military work…but from now on, any time a Hezbollah member is killed we will accuse Israel and consider it our right to retaliate at any time and in any manner we deem appropriate.”