Israel's military campaign against Hizbullah in Lebanon was a "failure" and demonstrated to Palestinian groups the Jewish state is weak and can ultimately be defeated, a senior terror leader told WorldNetDaily in an interview.
The leader, Abu Oudai, chief rocket coordinator for the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank, said Hizbullah's "tremendous victory" has emboldened his group and other Palestinian terror organizations to immediately coordinate violence against Israel and to focus their "resistance" on rocket attacks.
"I think the most important achievement this war in Lebanon demonstrated is that Israel – with all its power, its air force, its tanks, its navy and its unlimited budget – can be defeated," said Abu Oudai.
"If we do (what Hizbullah accomplished), this Israeli army full of gay soldiers and full of corruption and with old-fashioned war methods can be defeated also in Palestine."
"See the hundreds of Israeli tanks that the Mujahedeen had destroyed; the aircraft that were shot down; the Israelis – most of them soldiers - that Hizbullah killed. But above all the promise Hizbullah kept that no matter what the Israeli army will do and no matter how deep it will get inside Lebanon, Hizbullah will keep shooting the Israeli sites in the north of Israel (with rockets)."
Abu Oudai's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the declared "military wing" of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, is responsible for scores of shooting attacks, rocket launchings and, together with Islamic Jihad, every suicide bombing inside Israel the past two years.
Israel says senior Brigades leaders, particularly the group's cells in the northern West Bank, coordinate their attacks with Hizbullah and receive funding from Iran and Syria funneled through Hizbullah channels. Several Brigades leaders have spoken openly to WorldNetDaily about their group's affiliation with Hizbullah.
'Olmert's claims of victory are delusional'
In an address to the Knesset Monday Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the ceasefire was a substantial achievement for Israel.
"There is no longer a state within a state, an entity that exploits Lebanon's weakness," he said.
Olmert said Israel's military campaign in Lebanon had "changed the strategic balance in the region" to Hizbullah's disadvantage.
He claimed Hizbullah's vast arsenal of weapons had been largely destroyed and the terror group's self-confidence was undermined. His comments aroused audible scoffs from other Knesset members.
But Abu Oudai said his group feels there is "no question" Israel lost the war. He called Olmert's statements of victory "delusional."
"Nobody will deny that Hizbullah won. It won not only because it fought for more than 30 days on the ground against the soldiers whom we thought were the best in the world, not only because the Israeli raids did not prevent it from shooting its missiles, but because after 30 days of battles the truth is that the last confrontations took place very close to the Israeli borders.
"The military plans of Hizbullah on the ground, the ability to adapt the plans to the Israeli plans and tricks, the fact that even after Israeli sieges from the air, from the sea and on earth Hizbullah succeeded to resupply its fighters with weapons, it succeeded to keep in contact with them on all levels of the command and that its bunker system was a fatal and deadly trap for the Israelis.
"Hizbullah won because it shows that the Arab and Muslim world and its resistance had finally imposed a new equation – destructive Arab missiles versus destructive Israeli air raids; Arab refugees in Lebanon lead to Israeli refugees inside Israel. It is a totally new equation that marks a new era in the Middle East. It marks the beginning of the Arab and Muslims renaissance."
Abu Oudai said there was "no chance" an international or Lebanese force would stop Hizbullah from maintaining arms or from regrouping in south Lebanon.
"Only dumb, stupid and blind people can think that any international or local force can prevent the organization from keeping its military posts in the south and from receiving arms supplies from all around the world," said Abu Oudai.
UNIFIL? Friendly and cooperative
"I must admit that some of the United Nations International Force In Lebanon members had a very friendly and cooperative attitude toward Hizbullah. And can you imagine Hizbullah being defeated by thousands of soldiers who will be deployed with no political interest and with no enthusiasm on the ground?"
Abu Oudai said while Hizbullah took a "major hit" and lost many fighters the past month, the group's infrastructure in Lebanon was not minimized. He said Hizbullah still has the ability to fire hundreds of rockets per day into Israel.
The terror leader's estimates of Hizbullah's capabilities coincide with those of many senior military intelligence officials here, who say Hizbullah strongholds in the central regions of south Lebanon remain intact.
'Israel ripe for attack'
Abu Oudai said Israel's actions in Lebanon sent his group a message that Israel is weak and is ripe for attack. He said his group's rocket infrastructure, of which he is in charge, is the key to Israeli defeat.
"We learned what we already started to discover after Israel's Gaza withdrawal was implemented – that if there is faith and real commitment to Jihad we can beat and defeat the Israeli army.
"There is no doubt that one of our immediate conclusions is that we should appropriate very soon strategic tools such as missiles and more important things to built a military system that can enable us to survive the Israeli war machine. This takes time, but Gaza was the first proof, Lebanon now is one more better proof that the Israeli army can do little if we can hold more than a few weeks in front of its war machine and lead attacks.
"If we succeed to have improved rockets – and we are doing our best to have them – and to shoot them even if the army will invade us, it would be the beginning of the end of the occupation."
Abu Oudai also said Palestinian "resistance" groups should model themselves after Hizbullah and attempt to conduct guerilla warfare against Israel's army and not just "martyrdom operations" against Israeli civilians.
"We are working hard to carry out all kinds of attacks, but this is time to work silently and to prepare the war like Hizbullah did in the last six years. The war imposed high standards of military actions especially from Hizbullah. This should be our leading model for the future.
"If we do so, this Israeli army full of gay soldiers and full of corruption and with old-fashioned war methods can be defeated also in Palestine. The best is if it is a war in more than one front, and I believe it is not an impossible scenario."
The terror leader conceded, though, Israel's military failure may have been a result of poor Israeli leadership.
"(Hizbullah leader) Sheikh (Hassan) Nasrallah spoke on the eve of the war and warned the Israelis and the Israeli leadership from the lack of experience of Olmert, Peretz and Halutz. In the Quran it is written that there is a rotation in the power of people, and we believe it our time and if we respect Allah's instructions this land will be Muslim forever."
Reprinted with permission of WorldNetDaily