[News] Nasrallah: No regrets seizing Israelis

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Sep 5 14:45:58 EDT 2006


Nasrallah: No regrets seizing Israelis

Tuesday 05 September 2006 1:41 PM GMT

Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has said he does 
"not regret" the capture of two Israeli soldiers that led to Israel's 
offensive against Lebanon.

"The capture was exploited [by the Israelis] for the timing of the 
war ... but we think it hastened a war that was going to happen 
anyway and this was to our advantage and the advantage of Lebanon," 
Nasrallah said in an interview with the Lebanese daily newspaper 
As-Safir, published on Tuesday.

"I say we did not make a mistake in judgment. Our calculations were 
correct and we do not regret it."

Hezbollah fighters killed three Israeli soldiers and seized two more 
in a cross-border raid on July 12, sparking 34 days of fighting that 
ended on August 14 and left swaths of south Beirut and south Lebanon in ruins.

At least 855 Lebanese and 159 Israelis were killed and Lebanese 
officials say the country will need about $3.5 billion to repair 
buildings, bridges and other destroyed infrastructure.

"Strategic victory"

In an August 27 televised interview, Nasrallah had said he would not 
have ordered the capture of the two Israeli soldiers if he had known 
it would lead to such a war.

But in the As-Safir interview, Nasrallah said his group fought a war 
that brought "strategic and historic victory" for Lebanon.

Nasrallah contended that Israel was unable to achieve any of its 
declared goals, including destroying Hezbollah's rocket launchers and 
infrastructure, pushing its fighters away from south Lebanon and 
freeing the two captured soldiers.

He mocked Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, saying: "His only 
achievement was putting me in a shelter."

Nasrallah went into hiding on the first day of the war and has not 
been seen in public since.

Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, rebuked Nasrallah on 
Tuesday, saying the Hezbollah leader could not be claiming victory 
while still in hiding.

"Someone who doesn't come out of his bunker is not a person who 
thinks that he's won," Olmert said.

The war has been widely seen in Israel as a failure, in part because 
the military didn't crush Hezbollah and was unable to stop Hezbollah 
rocket barrages on northern Israel during the fighting.

However, Olmert reiterated on Tuesday that Israel had achieved what 
it set out to do - force the Lebanese army to deploy along the 
Israel-Lebanon border.


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