Political section of the speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on September 2nd, 2019, on the occasion of the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (‘Ashura), and the day after Hezbollah’s retaliation against an Israeli armored vehicle.
According to Israel’s military censor, there were no Israelis so much as scracthed by Hezbollah’s Kornet missiles, but only 2 days later, an Israeli soldier was severely injured and almost died because of an alledged ‘rock-throwing game’. Sounds like the lousiest cover-up ever…
The (political) part of my speech will be devoted to the latest developments, that is Hezbollah’s retaliation, the different reactions to it and (everything that happened yesterday and today).
First, we express our thanks to God Most High and Exalted for the success, the victory, and the accomplishments He has bestowed upon us, because all the benefits we enjoy come from His beneficence, His goodness, and His mercy. We praise Him and implore His forgiveness.
I must then address, at the beginning of my speech, the Resistance, the Mujahideen (fighters in the way of God), be them leaders, soldiers or persons in charge, who since 8 days, since Sunday (August 25) to this day, until last night or until this morning at least, were on the battlefield, at every time, along the Lebanese border with occupied Palestine, and ready (to hit the first valuable target). It is by their presence, their state of alert, their courage, their efficiency and their sacrifices that we realized and confirmed all the equations that dissuade the enemy and protect our country.
These brothers, since the first hours after my Sunday (August 25) speech, whether under the sun or under the stars, in the heat of daylight or the freshness of the night, and in spite of the maximum alert of the Israeli enemy, of his radars and (surveillance) drones, as well as all his (ultra-sophisticated) technical means, remained in front of the enemy, exposed (to strikes), present on the ground (and not hidden in bunkers), ready to give their blood. After God the Most High and the Exalted, it is they whom we must thank, these noble and very dear brothers.
In the same way, I must thank the Lebanese army, which remained vigilant on the whole length of the border, ready to face any aggression. I also express our thanks to our beloved people, our kith and kin, and our beloved families, especially those who are in the villages and regions closest to the border, who have spent all these days living their daily & normal lives, and who have followed, supported and congratulated our retaliation, and expressed their joy and pride in the success of the Resistance.
Likewise, we naturally thank anew the (Lebanese) Presidents (of the Republic, of the Council of Ministers and of the Parliament) and government officials, and all those who have clearly and firmly taken a stance (alongside the Resistance). I declare in truth that they have followed the events until the last moments, and have assumed their national responsibility.
I particularly thank the media, who have made great efforts to follow the evolution of the situation, supporting the actions of the Resistance and showing the situation as it really was, thwarting the enemy’s attempts to hide the facts (claiming that Hezbollah didn’t cause any casualties). As I will explain, our operation did not take place only yesterday in the afternoon, but extended from my speech (on August 25) to the military operation itself. All of this has been closely monitored by the media, and I thank them all, especially the reporters on the ground, who sometimes put themselves in danger in order to show the situation in a strong and eloquent way [the Israeli Army had completely deserted the area, allowing some Al-Manar, Al-Mayadeen and Russia Today Arabic journalists to infiltrate Israeli territory and even enter abandoned military bases]. We also thank all the analysts and commentators who provided the public with truthful, relevant and eloquent explanations.
I did not prepare a list of all those I had to thank, so in advance, I apologize to all those I may have forgotten, which will dispense me from mentioning them later [Laughter]. We thank everyone.
Secondly, I will quickly assess what has happened so that I can draw clear conclusions. What happened started during the night from Saturday to Sunday (August 25), and consisted of two events. The first event was the Israeli airstrike against the city of ‘Aqraba in the suburbs of Damascus, which led to the martyrdom of our dear brothers Yasser Dhaher and Hassan Zbib. And a few hours later, the second event was the operation of the two suicide drones in the southern suburbs of Beirut. I want to clarify something in this regard: it is common knowledge that the first suicide drone was neutralized (pelted with stones) and fell to the ground, and therefore failed to achieve what it was sent for. I add today that the second suicide drone, which was also sent to destroy a target, also failed in its mission: the target that this drone tried to destroy was not hit. The Israelis know well what they have come to strike, and I have no reason to reveal it, but I announce to the enemy that this operation failed. And it is also a blessing of God the Most High and Exalted.
Since the first moments, we have announced, especially in my Sunday speech, that we would not remain silent about these two aggressions, that we would not accept that new equations are imposed (to our disadvantage), and that we wouldn’t let the achievements of our July 2006 victory be squandered. And that’s why we said we would retaliate with certainty to these two attacks.
Our response has taken two aspects. The first aspect of our response took place on the ground, and across the international border with occupied Palestine, with the territory of Palestine occupied in 1948. And the second aspect of our response concerns Israeli drones in the skies of Lebanon.
Regarding the first aspect, the direct operation on the ground, we have stated publicly and clearly… I will present the overall situation to highlight our strengths, the strengths of Lebanon, and the points of weakness, humiliation, fear and failure of the enemy. We announced publicly that we would retaliate from Lebanon, from anywhere on the Lebanese border (with occupied Palestine), and perhaps even in the depths (of Israel). We warned the enemy that he had to expect us (any time) from now on. This is a strength point of the Resistance. We could have remained silent, refrained from threatening (Israel of an imminent retaliation), not revealing our intentions, keeping quiet as we say, for 1, 2 or 3 days, then hit them by surprise. The military know that one of the most important aspects of a military operation is the element of surprise. But we have not done so, because our fight against the Zionist entity has a major psychological component, affecting the morale and soul of the enemy (which we strive to undermine). So we told them from the beginning to wait for us, because we were coming. In itself, it is an enormous challenge issued by the Resistance, (but the enemy did not dare to take up the gauntlet).
If we consider the overall situation, in our eyes, everything that has happened since my (August 25) speech until yesterday, and which I will detail, is a (humiliating) punishment inflicted on the enemy, a deterrence of the enemy, a (successful) confrontation with the enemy. It is an operation composed of several layers that add up. Part of it is psychological, part of it touches the morale, part of it takes place on the battlefield, a part consists of an (anti-tank) missile launch, but all this is part of the same operation of a multiple punishment of the enemy, consisting of different layers.
If we consider the situation since last Sunday, since my August 25 speech, and briefly summarize the facts, what happened?
1 – The border has been deserted throughout its length. For Israel, there was no longer any distinction between the blue line, the international border, and this or that disputed piece of land in one direction or the other: the entire border, whether it is indicated by a wall or barbed wire, was completely abandoned by Israel, and it was impossible to find any soldier on the whole length of the border. Neither soldiers, nor these vehicles that regularly move on the dirt tracks or asphalt could be seen along the border. We did not see anyone nor anything. It is only today that they began to reappear, our operation having ended yesterday.
2 – All positions close to the borders have been completely abandoned. They did not even hole up in their bases, no, they completely abandoned them. They escaped. By God, it’s more than we expected. I told them to hole up, but they literally fled.
[Audience: At your service, O Nasrallah!]
Entire barracks were abandoned, like the one whose name has now become famous, the barracks of Avivim. A large military base, including a command center occupied by a large number of officers and soldiers, etc., etc., etc., was completely deserted, as a journalist (from Russia Today) showed: she went in and walked the premises, finding them completely empty. There was absolutely no one! Several barracks and military positions have been abandoned at the border, and sometimes even in the depths (of Israel).
3 – At a depth of 5 kilometers in some areas, and 7 kilometers in others, special measures, severe restrictions, evacuations and travel bans have been put in place. Even in the settlements, as we saw on television, cameras roamed the settlements from morning till night and did not meet a soul: no pedestrians, no motorists, no motorcyclists, no bicycles, no open shops, nothing. Everyone stood still. They were all holed up in their houses, and the doors of the shelters were open.
4 – Very severe (security) measures were taken everywhere in Israel, with an unprecedented state of alert. All the Iron Dome units that they could find and bring to the North, they brought and deployed them to face (possible) missile fire. All their anti-aircraft defense capabilities were activated, as well as all their means of dealing with the missiles or drones that Hezbollah could have launched towards occupied Palestine. Of course, we have drones (in quality and quantity), it’s not a secret and they know it well.
5 – During these 8 days, their combat units were on alert, on a war footing and deployed: I speak of several divisions, several air bases, several naval bases, etc.
If we consider the general situation that prevailed on the Israeli side during these last days, it was clear that this Israel, which to this day presents itself as endowed with the most powerful army of the region, the first army of the region, this arrogant, despotic, infatuated and tyrannical state, which once terrorized millions and hundreds of millions of people (through its wars and threats of aggression), for eight days, the whole world saw it frightened, fearful, hidden, holed up, and having completely deserted the Lebanese border on a width of at least 5 kilometers. It’s an absolute shame and humiliation. It is a demonstration of weakness. This is one manifestation of the fact that Israel is weaker than a spider’s web. And that’s part of the punishment (we inflicted on Israel). Before we retaliated with our military operation, some people were (ironically) asking: where is your response? But (this terror situation on the Israeli side) was already a punishment and a retaliation.
On the other hand, on our side, the Lebanese army has not left the border anywhere, remaining in all its positions. Likewise, the Resistance was present everywhere it was supposed to be. Our good Lebanese people was normally moving in border areas, whether in villages or fields [Israeli settlers were forbidden to approach “their” fields in occupied Palestine], and led a completely normal life.
So we have a scene (of normal life) on our side, on our territory and in our villages, a scene of endurance, strength, assurance, confidence, certainty, dignity and nobility, be it Lebanon, its people, its army, its State or its Resistance. Such was the scene on our side, (compare it with the spectacle of terror and desolation on the other side).
Similarly, to properly assess the situation, it should be noted that yesterday, the Resistance conducted its operation in broad daylight. The military is well aware of what it means to conduct an operation in broad daylight (risk of detection, of elimination, etc.), so close to the border, while the (Israeli surveillance) drones were flying in the sky, and while their combat helicopters were ready to come and hit us. Our fighters were exposed to danger in broad daylight because we did not act at night. It is a deliberate choice we made not to act at night, for reasons that I will not bother to mention (show of force, etc.). We made the decision to act imperatively by day, and we communicated it to the brothers in charge of the operation on the ground, and it is also one of the reasons for the delay of the operation, because if we had acted at night, we would have had more targets and opportunities.
This Resistance did not hit directly at the border – anyway, there were no targets at the border – but at some depth (2 kilometers). And despite all the Israeli measures, despite all their precautions and despite all the dummy targets they have scattered everywhere (empty vehicles or occupied by dummies dressed as soldiers), a considerable amount of military vehicles and tanks placed here and there, which were all calling for our strikes to put an end to this unbearable wait for the enemy, despite all this, the Resistance has patiently waited, watched and monitored, ensuring the validity of information and checking all the data, and when a valuable target finally showed up, we hit it and touched it with certainty. Today, the whole world was able to see the video of the operation broadcast in the media. What happened clearly demonstrates our boldness, our courage, our precision and our sense of responsibility.
O my brothers and sisters, one of the most important points about what happened yesterday, and whatever the Israeli attempts to minimize its losses, is the very fact that the operation was conducted. The most important aspect of the operation, even before its success and its results, is to have been accomplished! We had the courage to do it! For the past 7 days, in the media, there is not a single Israeli official who has not said that if we opened fire, shot a missile, killed, wounded or attacked, the reaction would be devastating and could lead to war, etc. We have heard all conceivable threats. And the most severe are those that were expressed through the diplomatic channels: if one was to believe them, Israel would not tolerate the slightest shot in its direction, would respond disproportionately and destroy the country, returning it to the Stone Age. A considerable operation to terrorize us was conducted by the media and diplomatic channels (United States, Great Britain, France, etc.). But I assure you, O my brothers and sisters, and in all sincerity: not only Hezbollah hasn’t flinched, but none of the Lebanese officials with whom we spoke trembled! Nobody flinched! And Lebanon remained strong in its attachment (to its right to defend itself), and its faith in our retaliation response and the legitimacy of our retaliation. The very fact that we made this operation is a success in itself!
I come to the most important point to which all should pay attention, because it is on it that I will base the conclusion of this whole episode of confrontation, and the new equation in force. In the past, when we were attacked, where did we respond? In the Shebaa Farms, inside the Shebaa Farms. Because there are Israeli military positions inside the Shebaa farms. The traps we laid for Israeli tanks and vehicles were placed on occupied Lebanese territory. The rest of the border, that is to say the border of Lebanon with the territory of Palestine occupied in 1948, and which the enemy considers as its official and indisputable border, its usurping State and its entity, the very fact of touching this border was considered by the enemy for decades as one of the largest red lines. Israel could not tolerate anyone allowing himself to touch the barbed wire delimiting the border, sending any drone flying over its territory, firing in the air, or throwing a grenade at it. No way! Israel responded violently to any such violation, for it was a red line in their eyes! What happened yesterday is that the main red line of Israel for decades has been shattered by the Islamic Resistance! That’s what happened yesterday.
[Audience: At your service, O Nasrallah!]
It’s not a red line anymore. It’s over. This period is well and truly over, regardless of what the Israelis can say and claim.
And even tastier, this Israel, which normally [Laughter] responds to any shot, any projectile and any grenade by air strikes, assassinations and massive destruction, yesterday, Israel has made considerable efforts to absorb the blow at all costs. And even their incendiary and phosphorous strikes (against empty lands and forests) were mostly defensive, and aimed at building a smokescreen to protect themselves from further strikes, as they imagined that the Resistance was going to strike again the barracks of Avivim and other positions. But they wanted to get over with it and especially not escalate, being ready to conclude a truce at any price.
What is the result of all this? First, we confirmed and even reinforced the deterrence equation. If Netanyahu wanted to change the equation in his favor, we confirmed it and even reinforced it in our favor. Our deterrent force is now greater. We have increased it by one step. He feared a retaliation from us, but thought we would respect some red lines. But we said and demonstrated that we no longer have any red line. Since Netanyahu tried to change the rules of engagement, our response was to break absolutely all the red lines (of Israel). We have passed from a stage where our responses were launched exclusively against (a thin band of) occupied Lebanese territory, namely the Shebaa Farms and the Kfar Chouba Hills, to a stage where our response directly strikes the territory of occupied Palestine! It’s something new. It’s completely new. And we do not have to hit the border area. We can strike at 1, 2 or 5 kilometers, or, if need be, far more distant points, in the full depth of occupied Palestine.
What is the message we sent? This is where our accomplishment and success lie. The message is clear: if you attack us, all your borders, all your soldiers and all your settlements, whether at the border, deep or at the very extremity of your entity, will be threatened and may be targeted by our response, absolutely and categorically. This does not pose us any problem. And the courage and boldness demonstrated by the Resistance yesterday will be found in the future by actions much more courageous, bolder, stronger and more important. Such is the new equation.
Today, I want to say this to the Israelis: Listen carefully to what Netanyahu did by his imbecility and pettiness, and remember this date, September 1, 2019. Sunday, September 1, 2019 is the beginning of a new stage of the situation on the Lebanese border with occupied Palestine: as regards the defense of Lebanon, its sovereignty, its dignity, its security and its people, there is no longer any red line!
[Audience: At your service, O Nasrallah!]
I now come to the second point. I already started to mention it on Sunday (August 25) when I declared that from now on, we would work on a new file on which we had avoided to intervene during all the past years, namely the Lebanese skies and its permanent violation by Israeli drones. I explained that it was only internal Lebanese considerations that led us to leave this issue aside, and that we constantly called upon the Lebanese State to solve this problem. But it has not been resolved. We have therefore established, and it is now irrevocable in the deterrence equation, that the Lebanese have the right to defend their territory, their skies, their waters, their people, their security and their sovereignty, and that we would take care of defending them. And so we opened a new field of action, namely to confront the Israeli drones in our skies. I say nothing more than that. I speak of the Lebanese skies. We have established and announced it clearly. The decision is made, and implementing this choice is now in the hands of our fighters on the ground, as for the first point. Since August 25, the decision to retaliate against Israel was taken and was in the hands of the fighters on the ground, to whom we announced that we were in no hurry: we wanted a clean operation, without any loss on our side, and that would restore the deterrence equation in our favor. The opportunity arose, they seized it and we re-established and strengthened the deterrence equation.
Today, with regard to the fight against Israeli drones, the same is true: the decision is made, and everything is now in the hands of our combatants on the ground. And I already explained how we would behave, what was our vision, etc., so I do not need to repeat myself [Hezbollah does not commit to shooting down all the drones, because that may disclose and / or exhaust all of its anti-aircraft defenses, but will act wisely and judiciously depending on the circumstances]. Tomorrow, someone will tell us, when the first drone is shot down – and this can happen at any time –, that we are putting the stability of the country in danger, pushing the situation towards a military escalation, etc. But it will be useless. Whoever wants, within the international community, especially the countries that contacted us before Sunday, Sunday and during the Sunday operation, I say to them now: whoever cares about the stability of Lebanon and the region must speak with the Israelis and tell them that the time of the violation of Lebanon’s skies with impunity is over. This time is over. There will be no more tolerance and we will no longer look the other way. Hezbollah will no longer allow the sovereignty and the skies of Lebanon to be violated. As for how we deal with it, it’s a decision that’s in our hands. But it’s our right. No matter how long it takes, it’s our right, and the way we act is just a detail. Of course, that’s part of our response.
Today, I declare that because of the death of our two brothers killed in Syria, and the two suicide drones in Beirut, our response began on Sunday, continued yesterday and will continue via the fight against drones. That’s what we decided. Naturally, we come out stronger from this episode of confrontation, with a stronger position. Netanyahu wanted to overturn the rules of engagement in Israel’s favor, and we stopped him. He wanted to break the balance of deterrence, and we strengthened it in our favor. This is the result, and that is the conclusion.
Anyway, the Israelis must know that all this was caused by the stupidity of this man, who has only one idea in mind, to win the elections at all costs in order to escape justice for the many corruption cases in which he is involved.
So we can say that this new stage of confrontation is over from the point of view of the new equation that it has founded. And in the future, the fight against drones will continue. And in case of aggression against Lebanon, there will no longer be any red line at the international borders and in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, to which will henceforth extend all our retaliations, which will no longer be confined to the Shebaa farms. All the limits have been removed, and everything is now clear.
I renew my thanks to God and to our fighters, whose response has confirmed and strengthened the equations, prevented the rules of engagement from being violated in favor of the enemy, preserved the achievements of the July 2006 war, as well as the dignity, the honor and the pre-eminence of Lebanon vis-a-vis Israel.
So much for this topic. I’m done with the political section of my speech. Pray upon the Prophet and his family.
[Audience: O my God, pray upon Muhammad and his family!]
Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah