Nasrallah: 1701 Still Stands, Hizbullah Won't be Neutral if Iran Attacked
Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said his threat to “break the red lines” in the confrontation with Israel does not stand for renouncing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between his group and Israel.
“The Lebanese have foiled the Israeli attempt to change the rules of engagement that had been in place since 2006 and the Israeli army has turned into a Hollywoodic army because it has become crippled on the ground,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech marking the last day of the Shiite Ashoura commemorations.
“Lebanon respects 1701 and Hizbullah is part of the government that respects this resolution,” Nasrallah added.
Noting that Israel does not respect Resolution 1701, Nasrallah stressed that “should the Israelis attack Lebanon, the Lebanese have the right to defend their country.”
“We will respond in an appropriate and proportionate manner and there will no red lines at all,” Hizbullah’s leader warned.
Referring to the latest exchange of hostilities with Israel, Nasrallah said Lebanon has “imposed itself on world powers.”
“Everyone contacted it after the latest Israeli attack, prior to the resistance’s response and during the resistance’s response. Lebanon must know that it is strong through the army-people-resistance equation and all countries in the world contacted our government to thwart us from retaliating to the Israeli aggression,” he said.
Turning to the region, Nasrallah said: “We reject any war plans against the Iranian republic, because such a war will ignite the region and destroy countries and peoples. It will be a war against the entire axis of resistance.”
“We reiterate our stance as part of the axis of resistance: we will not be neutral in the battle between right and wrong, in the battle between Hussein and Yazid. This supposed war will be the end of Israel and the American hegemony and presence in the region,” Nasrallah said.
“Our imam, leader, master and Hussein in this era is Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei. He is the leader of the axis of resistance and Iran is the heart and main center of the axis,” he went on to say.
Nasrallah also said that a U.S. official visiting Beirut to mediate between Lebanon and Israel over a maritime border dispute, David Schenker, is a "friend of Israel." Nasrallah urged Lebanese officials to negotiate from a point of strength with him.
Hizbullah said Monday it shot down an Israeli drone over southern Lebanon shortly after it crossed from Israel, amid rising tensions along the Lebanese-Israeli border in recent weeks.
Last month, Nasrallah said his group would confront and shoot down any Israeli drones that enter Lebanese airspace.
Nasrallah spoke after authorities said one Israeli drone crashed in a Hizbullah stronghold in southern Beirut, landing on the roof of a building that houses Hizbullah's media office, and another exploded and crashed in a plot behind the building, causing material damage.
Last week, Israel and Hizbullah traded fire for the first time in years. Hizbullah launched anti-tank missiles at an Israeli armored vehicle near the border and said in a statement that those inside it were killed and wounded. Israel denied any casualties and retaliated with artillery fire into southern Lebanon.
Hizbullah said the missile attack was retaliation for an Israeli airstrike near Damascus last month that killed two of its members. Israel said the attack thwarted an Iranian-orchestrated drone attack squad. Shortly after the airstrike, Hizbullah said two Israeli attack drones crash-landed in Beirut.
Israel and Hizbyllah fought a monthlong war in 2006. Israel considers the group its most immediate threat.