Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah said during a speech aired on Al-Manar TV Monday that ‘we are at the brink of a great victory; a strategic and historic one. The Hizbullah fighters brought about this great triumph.”
In his first speech delivered after the ceasefire went into effect at 8 a.m., Nasrallah said "this is not the time for Hizbullah to disarm.
"It is unfortunate that the initial discussion on this matter and on the deployment of the army (in the south) was held by the (Lebanese) government in direct contrast to the agreement between the sides,” he said.
“Who will defend Lebanon in case of a new Israeli offensive?” he asked. “The Lebanese army and international troops are incapable of protecting Lebanon,” He said, flanked by Lebanese and Hizbullah flags.
But Nasrallah said he was open to dialogue about Hizbullah’s weapons at the appropriate time. And he credited his group’s weapons with proving to Israel that “War with Lebanon will not be a picnic. It will be very costly.”
'We will come to you'
Nasrallah said that beginning Tuesday Hizbullah would transfer initial funds to south Lebanon residents whose homes were destroyed so
“You (residents) will not wait in any line or for government funds because this may take too long,” the Hizbullah leader said. “We will come to you and grant you funds worth a year’s rent and for furniture. In the meantime we will rebuild your destroyed homes.”
Nasrallah, who remains in hiding, added that “soon I will address people in public squares and tell them the details of what happened."
The statement was a response to Ehud Olmert's speech to the Knesset plenum Sunday, in which the PM declared that Israel would continue to track down Hizbullah operatives.
Ali Waked contributed to the report