Photo: AFP
Hizbullah outpost (archive)
Photo: Avihu Shapira
Nasrallah: Israel is an army state
Hizbullah leader says Second Lebanon War brought about historic, strategic changes in Israel, adding most important thing country relies on is army. Meanwhile, Sunday Telegraph reports Hizbullah buying large tracts of land in southern Lebanon in preparation of possible war
Hizbullah is much stronger today than it was prior to last summer's war in Lebanon, the group's head Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview to the Iranian Broadcasting Authority Saturday.


"A year after the war, Hizbullah enjoys high morale. Furthermore, in the field of military capabilities, Hizbullah is at a much better position and is more powerful than it was during the fighting," he stated.


Referring to the situation in Israel, Nasrallah said that the war has certainly brought about "historic and strategic changes" in Israel. "The most important thing this country relies on is the army. They say that every country and nation creates for itself an army, but Israel is an army for which a state has been built.


"Without a strong army Israel would not be able to survive in the region. We have seen that the Israelis…cannot demand from their leaders to accept responsibility for their failures," he added.


Asked what he thought about the US-initiated regional peace conference planned for this fall, Nasrallah said, "Bush is interested in war, not peace. The peace summit is poison served in a candy. Nothing good will come out of Bush for the Palestinians.


"At the same time Bush talks about the peace summit, he sends his state and defense secretaries to the region to sell weapons to Israel and the Arab countries for tens of billions of dollars."


Report: Hizbullah buying land to attack Israel  

Meanwhile, British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph reported that Hizbullah has started purchasing large tracts of land in areas north of the Litani River in southern Lebanon. The land is being bought from Christian and Druze residents as part of the group's efforts to rebuild its outposts ahead of a possible war with Israel.


A Christian member of the Lebanese parliament told the paper that Christians and Druze were selling their lands and leaving, while Muslims were moving in to the region instead.


According to the report, a Shiite businessman, Ali Tajeddine, was behind the purchase of lands, and local Christian and Druze leaders said he was operating with Iranian funding.


"It is part of Hizbullah's plan to create a state within a state," Walid Jumblatt, a Druze leader, told the Telegraph.
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