In an interview with the Arab-Israeli paper Sawt el-Balad published Thursday, Kassem said that the Shiite organization's weapons arsenal can hit all parts of Israel. He described the maneuvers as "enormous and important and they were carried out as part of our deployment so that we won't be caught by surprise.
Hizbullah supporters (Photo: AP)
"Our exercise was unrestricted and was meant to cover all of the territory of the Israeli entity and not simply to strengthen our companies," he stated.
Kassem added that UNIFIL forces detected the increased Hizbullah activity but, since no militants were carrying weapons, he claimed they were acting in accordance with UN Security Resolution 1701.
"The drill was part of our obligation to make our presence and readiness known and (to show) that we act how we deem necessary," Hizbullah's number two said.
On Monday, the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar reported that Hizbullah General-Secretary Hassan Nasrallah himself supervised the drill. He claimed the maneuvers were orchestrated in response to a "threatening Israeli reinforcements."
The drill included infantry, anti-tank missile crews, and anti-aircraft teams. Engineering units, search and rescue teams, military propagandists, and communication and logistics teams also took part.