Home      |      Weblog      |      Articles      |      Satire      |      Links      |      About      |      Contact

Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Terrorist leader Nasrallah speaks to hundreds of thousand supporters at Hezbollah rally - calls for new Lebanese government

Terrorist leader Nasrallah speaks to hundreds of thousand supporters at Hezbollah rally - calls for new Lebanese government

September 22, 2006

Hezbollah head praises 'victory' http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5370038.stm
Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah Sheikh Nasrallah had not appeared in public since the conflict
The Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has spoken to vast crowds in Beirut, hailing the militant group's self-proclaimed "victory" over Israel.

He said Hezbollah had won a historic and strategic military victory.

In his first public appearance since the recent conflict, Sheikh Nasrallah said Hezbollah still had 20,000 rockets and would never be disarmed by force.

Hundreds of thousands crowded into southern Beirut, heavily bombed during the conflict, to hear his speech.

Waving flags in the yellow and green of Hezbollah, crowds travelled from all over Lebanon to a square in the city's southern suburbs.

Security was tight in the streets around the square.

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah
Hezbollah leader
Quick guide: Hezbollah

Thanking the crowd for making the journey to the rally, he praised their courage and said Hezbollah was now stronger than it was before fighting began on 12 July.

"There is no army in the world that can force us to drop our weapons from our hands, from our grip," he said.

Under the terms of the UN-brokered cease-fire that ended the fighting on 14 August, Hezbollah is expected to disarm.

But Sheikh Nasrallah said the group would only disarm when the Lebanese government was capable of protecting the country.

CONFLICT FACTS Fighting began on 12 July Ended 14 August Israeli dead: 116 soldiers, 43 civilians Lebanese civilian dead: >1,000 Hezbollah dead: unknown
He repeated a Hezbollah call for a new government to replace the administration of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

"The building of a just, strong and able state starts first with a serious national unity government," Sheikh Nasrallah said.

The strength of Hezbollah had dealt a severe blow to US plans for a new Middle East peace process, he told the crowds.

The BBC's Crispin Thorold, in southern Beirut, said Sheikh Nasrallah spoke for more than an hour, and guns were fired into the air as he left.

Withdrawal delayed

Fighting between Israel and Hezbollah ended on 14 August with a ceasefire that has largely held.

Crowds at the Hezbollah rally in Beirut Most of the crowds waved yellow Hezbollah flags
Israel lost 116 soldiers in the fighting, while 43 civilians were killed in Hezbollah rocket attacks.

More than 1,000 Lebanese civilians and an unknown number of Hezbollah fighters were killed in the conflict.

Israel failed to achieve its stated war aims of driving Hezbollah fighters from the border, stopping rocket attacks and freeing two of its soldiers captured by Hezbollah in a cross-border raid.

The Beirut rally had been expected to coincide with the final withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon, but the Israeli military said on Friday that some troops would remain in Lebanon over the Jewish New Year holiday this weekend.

Printer-friendly version   Email this item to a friend