Hassan Nasrallah
Photo: AFP

Nasrallah: Hezbollah didn't launch drone

Shiite group's chief says was not behind drone downed by IAF over Haifa; delivers message to Israeli leadership, warning 'Israeli enemy not to make foolish mistake in Lebanon; resistance is willing, able to protect Lebanon'

Hezbollah's Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah denied Tuesday Israel's claim that his organization was behind the drone that penetrated Israeli airspace last week, only to be downed by the IAF.


In a televised speech for Al-Manar, Nasrallah said: "The Israelis claimed a few days ago that they downed a drone near Haifa, and said Hezbollah was responsible for its launch, but we didn't launch a drone of this type."


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Nasrallah's comments came after a wave of denials from the organization, beginning only shortly after the event itself.


Only a few hours after the interception, Al Miyadin, a media outlet affiliated with Hezbollah, reported that the organization rejected claims that it had launched the unmanned aircraft.


Nasrallah further said during Tuesday's speech that "due to the sensitive nature of the region, we were quick to publish an exact and specific statement."


He dubbed the claims against his organizations as "an honor we would never dream of," adding that "Israel never presented a video of the interception itself, and as far as I know, it remains unclear whether they found any remnants of the aircraft."


החיפושים אחרי שברי המל"ט מול חיפה (צילום: עידו ארז)

Search for downed drone (Photo: Ido Erez)


The Hezbollah Secretary-General further said that "everybody knows that Hezbollah has the courage to take responsibility for every action it undertakes to hurt Israel. The accusations don’t concern us.


"Whatever is said regarding this drone is unimportant, what really matters is that Hezbollah took responsibility for the 'enemy' drone that reached the Dimona reactor."


Nasrallah noted that Israel has very "strong" radars and is aided by very advanced intelligence, but still failed to locate the drone's route and point of departure.


He also posited a number of alternative theories regarding the drone's origin, one of which suggested that an unknown force launched the drone from Lebanon in an attempt to drag Israel and Hezbollah into conflict.


According to another of Nasrallah theories, it was Israel that put the drone on Lebanese soil only to launch it back to Israel as part of its political and psychological warfare.


'Foolish mistake'

Nasrallah delivered a warning to Israel, saying "If somebody in the region or in Lebanon is mistakenly disillusioned that the Lebanese resistance is somehow in a state of weakness or embarrassment because of what is happening in Syria, Iraq or anywhere in the region – then they are very much mistaken.


"I warn the Israeli enemy and those standing behind it not to make a foolish mistake in Lebanon, because despite all that has been said, the resistance is alert and is willing and able to protect Lebanon."


Nasrallah also commented on the military drill conducted by Israel in the north over the last few of days, calling it a "concerning indication."


Regarding the events in Syria, Nasrallah said that "Those orchestrating the Syrian war dream of destroying it as a country, as a people, as a society and as an army so it will no longer be a strong country."


As for the issue of chemical arms in the war-torn country, the Hezbollah chief said that "it is another attempt to introduce foreign intervention so that those behind the conflict can bring about the destruction of Syria."



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פרסום ראשון: 04.30.13, 23:01
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