Hezbollah leader addresses Thursday's Beirut bombing for first time, pointing finger at al-Qaeda-affiliated 'godless organizations' operating against Assad. 'These murderers want to bring about a war between brothers and destroy Lebanon,' he says
Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah
on Friday delivered a speech from his hideout, which was broadcast on huge screens during a rally marking the Lebanese terror organization's "victory" in the Second Lebanon War
seven years ago.
The event was held at the southern Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab, a day after a lethal bombing
in the Shiite
organization's stronghold in a southern Beirut suburb. At the start of his address, Nasrallah expressed his condolences over the casualties, referring to the blast as a "massacre" committed by Sunni extremists.
Turning to those hurt in the attack, Nasrallah said: "They want to harm your determination and commitment to the resistance (against Israel).
These murderers want to cause an emotional reaction which will lead to a war between brothers and a destruction of the country."
The Hezbollah leader clarified, "We cannot settle for preventive measures, and the most important thing is to expose those godless organizations," referring to Syrian groups operating against the Bashar Assad
regime in Syria and against Hezbollah, and organizations affiliated with al-Qaeda
Beirut bombing, Thursday (Photo: AP)
Smoke billowing over Lebanese capital (Photo: AP)
Nasrallah claimed that "these godless organizations have no religion. They are murderers and they are neither Syrian nor Palestinian or Muslim." He clarified that "we will not be dragged into a war between brothers. We are the ones who will determine the end of the conflict.
"Just like we won all our wars with Israel, we will win the war on the terror of the godless organizations. The war will cost us the right price, but it will cost us less than if we are slaughtered like sheep and wait for the murderers to come to us."
The Hezbollah leader voiced his appreciation for the condemnations across Lebanon and outside the country following the bombing, and asked God to bring about the full recovery of the injured. He added that in due time, the countries which kept silent over the terror attack at the Dahiya quarter would be revealed as those supporting terror and murder in the region.
'We'll cut off Israelis' organs'
He indirectly addressed a border explosion which left four Israeli soldiers injured after Lebanese sources claimed they had crossed the border into the country.
"Not a single Israeli soldier will be able to take one step on Lebanese soil to contaminate it – the same territory purified with the blood of our martyrs," Nasrallah stated. "The Israeli's tourism era in Lebanon is over. We will cut off the legs and neck of every Israeli entering Lebanon."
He further claimed that "the resistance today is stronger than ever and more equipped than ever."
Citizens injured in explosion (Photo: AFP)
Referring to the Second Lebanon War
, Nasrallah declared that "the historical victory" on August 14, 2006 had destroyed the plan for "a greater Israel
from the Nile to Euphrates."
The Hezbollah chief further claimed that after the war Israeli leaders and generals admitted their defeat, and that Israel has been licking its wounds from that war to this very day.
"We stress today our commitment to the resistance for the liberation of what remains of our occupied territory and defending our homeland and people," he added.
Twenty-four people were killed in Thursday's bombing at the Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut, which was caused by a car bomb carrying 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of explosives. The Lebanese interior minister said a suicide bomber had detonated the bomb. At least 120 people were injured.
Eyewitnesses told the Reuters news agency that at least five buildings were damaged n the blast and many cars were destroyed. The blast sent a column of black smoke over the densely populated area in the south of the Lebanese capital.
President Shimon Peres
said in a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday that he was surprised
to learn that the Lebanese president had blamed Israel for Thursday's bombing.
On Thursday, Michel Suleiman condemned the explosion in the Dahiya quarter, saying it had the fingerprints of Israel, and its purpose was to destabilize Lebanon. Peres noted that Lebanon had an organization like Hezbollah which "accumulates bombs and weapons and fights Syria without the consent of the Lebanese government."
Shiite-Suni tensions in Lebanon have reached a boiling point, especially since the Shiite Hezbollah increased its involvement in the Syrian conflict, backing President Bashar Assad.
Despite allegations pertaining to Israel's responsibility in the attack, Lebanese media outlets on Thursday aired a video posted online in which a group dubbed "Aisha the Mother of Believers Brigades for Foreign Missions" claimed responsibility for the attack.
In the video, three masked men are seen with a sign behind them reading "there is no God but Allah."
Two of them are seen toting guns. The video's authenticity has yet to be verified.
"We, The Aisha Mother of Believers Brigades for foreign missions, send you Hassan Nasrallah and your party our second resonant, strong message after having sent you our first message and you still do not understand," a speaker says in the video.
The speaker also accused Nasrallah of serving Iran
and Israel, and added: "We address a message to our brothers and families in Lebanon: We ask you to stay away from all of Iran’s colonies inside and outside Beirut."
According to the speaker, the group performed attack against Hezbollah before.