[News] Nasrallah: Invasion will not stop rockets

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 24 16:48:47 EDT 2006

Nasrallah: Invasion will not stop rockets

Monday 24 July 2006, 8:41 Makka Time, 5:41 GMT

Nasrallah said the priority was to end Israeli attacks on Lebanon

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has said that an 
Israeli ground invasion would not prevent Hezbollah from firing 
rockets into northern Israel.

"Any Israeli incursion will have no political results if it does not 
achieve its declared goals, primarily an end to the rocketing of 
Zionist settlements in northern occupied Palestine," Nasrallah said 
in remarks published on Monday.

"I assure you that this goal will not be achieved, God willing, by an 
Israeli incursion," he told As-Safir newspaper.

His remarks came after Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets at Israel on Sunday.

Responding to reports about diplomatic efforts to end the fighting, 
Nasrallah said the priority was to end Israeli attacks on Lebanon, 
but added he was open to discussing initiatives.

Nasrallah, whose whereabouts are unknown, also said Hizbollah would 
not object if the Lebanese government were to negotiate a prisoner 
swap, under which Hizbollah freed the two Israeli soldiers it 
captured on July 12 in return for Lebanese and Arab prisoners in Israeli jails.

International force

Nasrallah would not take a stand on proposals to send an 
international force to southern Lebanon to keep the peace, but said 
it was "very noteworthy" that Israel first rejected and then accepted 
the idea of a NATO-led force.

In a shift of Israel's position, Amir Peretz, the Israeli defence 
minister, said on  Sunday his country could accept an international 
force, preferably NATO, on its border to ensure the peace in southern Lebanon.

"This shift in Israel's position must be studied and considered well 
before taking a positive or negative stand on this idea," he said.

Nasrallah downplayed Hezbollah's loss of the strategic border village 
of Maroun al-Ras, saying Israeli media have hyped up the first major 
ground operation of the 13-day-old confrontation "as if it's the 
conquest of Stalingrad".

He said Israel's losses in the fighting for Maroun al-Ras showed the 
weakness of the Israeli army. Israel has said five soldiers were 
killed in the fighting there.

"The enemy is seeking a military achievement in order to exaggerate 
it, and use it in the media and in politics," Nasrallah said.

Prisoner swap

He also indicated that his group was still interested in a trade of 
two Israeli soldiers that Hezbollah captured in a brazen cross-border 
raid on July 12, sparking the current crisis, for Arab prisoners held 
by Israel.

An envoy from Germany's Foreign Ministry visited Beirut on Sunday 
while the German foreign minister was in Israel, leading to 
speculation that the European nation may embark on a mission to 
negotiate the prisoner swap.

Nasrallah said that Hezbollah has not been in contact with Germany 
but that the "German channel is still valid." He said he wouldn't 
object to other channels that the parties agree to.

In 2004, Germany negotiated a previous prisoner exchange between 
Hezbollah and Israel.

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