Friday, July 13, 2007
Al-Manar Special - Hanan Awarekeh
"12/07/2007 "Hezbollah is as strong as it needs to be to withstand any Israeli aggression," Hezbollah's Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Kassem told al-Manar Channel Wednesday, in a political talkshow "Maza ba'ad".
"The latest aggression only made us stronger. We acquired forces, we're still highly prepared," he said, referring to the Second Lebanon War.
Sheikh Kassem said that Hezbollah does not intend to attack, but that if Israel attacks, "we'll show them some surprises…Israel is weaker today than it was in the last war, whereas the party (Hezbollah) is strong…We won't leave behind our prisoners," he added.
His eminence accused 'Israel' of functioning as an arm of the United States. "Everyone has always said that Israel pulls America's strings, but now it turns out that America rules Israel. Israel has turned into America's arm."
"We didn't initiate the war with Israel," he stated. "Who started the war? Israel. It turned out that Israel does not respond proportionally, but rather executes preplanned American decisions. The aggression was planned in advance."
"We did not give Israel an excuse," Sheikh Kassem affirmed. "Taking the soldiers captive was aberrant and we did not consult with anyone when doing this…We carried out an operation to release our detainees," he said.
"The problem is Israel's decision and not the incident itself," he said.
Sheikh Kassem continued to speak of the heavy price 'Israel' paid for last summer's war. "The entire Israeli military establishment suffered a heavy blow. But (Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert also paid a price – support for him dropped to 2 percent. If Olmert falls, it will have implications for the Zionist entity that may not serve America well," he said.
"America sends money and does everything in order to stabilize Olmert, because Olmert proved that he is in its favor and is weaker than ever. We will discover in the future that the outcomes of our victory reach much further. That's why I don't think that a collapse of the Israeli government is the only sign. The entire Zionist entity is on the verge of a breakdown," he added.
When asked about the damage sustained by Lebanon, Sheikh Kassem responded, "we got into this war in order to defend ourselves. What about the damage caused to Israel? The material, spiritual and strategic damage? This is also important.
"Yedioth Aharonoth said that the enemy suffered billions of dollars of damage. In Lebanon, the damages didn't cost more than two billion dollars. Yes, there was damage, but we protected Lebanon from occupation."
Hezbollah's Deputy Secretary General added that the resistance fighters have defeated the Israeli army, "We caused them to withdraw from combat and we caused them the greatest defeat since 1948. Was this simple to do? Of course not." "