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Hezbollah Victory, Fruit of Resistance

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah’s Speech

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Nasrallah celebrating the release of prisoners at the al-Rayah stadium.

The following is the speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah on July 16, 2008, on the occasion of the release of five Lebanese prisoners from Israeli prisons.

In the name of Allah the Compassionate and the Merciful, peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad, his family, his friends, companions, and all the prophets.

Distinguished guests, representatives of the three political leaders, the president, parliament speaker and prime minister, former President Emil Lahoud, Distinguished guests, all religious figures, all those present, the representatives of all diplomatic delegations, especially the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the representatives of Lebanese parties, and the families of the freed detainees- my dear brothers and sisters Asalamalaykum.

I welcome you all to this national celebration. I welcome Samir, Maher, Khadher, Hussein, and Mohammed. I would like also to welcome the martyrs whom we will receive tomorrow in the same way we received the freed prisoners today.

On July 12, 2006, a group of resistance fighters carried out an operation which led to the arrest of two Israeli soldiers. The goal of this operation was to liberate the remaining prisoners in Israeli prisons, most importantly Samir Kuntar.

Today, July 16, 2008, Samir has finally come home. Before him Nasim Nisr came back, Samir has come home and with him are four brothers who fought for the sake of his liberation. Some of the brothers who fought for his freedom are alive and sitting beside him; others were killed and are among the martyrs we shall welcome tomorrow.

Is it a coincidence that the promise we made has been delivered? Is it a coincidence that the dream has come true in July? How did we reach this result?

There were times when the swap seemed difficult or impossible to achieve. My brothers and sisters, the main factor which helped us secure the swap was what we call the 'Rodvan Operation', our victory after the July 2006 attack and the enemy's failure to achieve its goals.

What I am trying to say is that if we had bowed down to pressures, today Samir, his brothers, and the martyrs would not be home or on their way home. Lebanon would have lost, the whole region would have lost and we would have entered the new Middle East, which the Americans and Zionists tried to promote.

When Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri began negotiating the prisoner swap, he had to endure a lot of pressure. We were forced to bear this pressure and the world did not want to listen to Lebanon's conditions or to what Lebanon had to say.

The only thing the delegations visiting Lebanon and the whole world kept demanding was 'unconditionally release the two Israeli soldiers '. However, we stood firm and continued to fight for the freedom of our prisoners.

We must not forget all those who helped us along the way, the ones who fought in the front line; those who were injured; and those who were martyred. We must remember our beloved Hajj Imad Mugniyah who was martyred-peace be upon his soul. We must also remember that every single Lebanese courageously contributed to this cause and helped make history.

The Lebanese leaders who stood by us must not be forgotten either. We will always remember the perseverance of our people, those whose homes were destroyed; those who had to leave their homes; those who suffered yet never once complained. They did not show weakness. This perseverance was what helped secure the release of our brothers.

The second factor is the negotiations. First, the enemy was incapable of freeing its two soldiers without negotiating. When the war ended, the Israelis knew that in order to free their soldiers they had no option left but to enter into talks. Second, Israeli Intelligence was unable to determine the whereabouts of these soldiers or their fate. This greatly helped us in the course of the negotiations. Had the Israeli's known the fate of these two soldiers, the course of negotiations would have changed.

The third important factor is the enemy's fear. The fear that the negotiations would not bear fruit or that they would be called off. They feared that the failure of the negotiations would prompt the Resistance Movement to carry out other operations and capture more Israeli soldiers.

The pressure on the enemy was that they were incapable of saving these two soldiers and they were unable to determine their fate. They feared that the resistance would capture more of their soldiers.

If the Resistance had been forced to capture more soldiers to free Samir and the other prisoners it would have done so. More Israeli soldiers would have been captured.

The Israelis knew this, and this was why the majority of the Israeli cabinet voted in favor of the prisoner swap. In 2004, due to the political conflict between Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon, we were unable to free Samir, Nasim, and Yahya. We told them at that time they would regret not freeing Samir Kuntar. The Israelis knew if the prisoner swap fell through this time we would switch to another plan, one which I do not believe Israelis were or will be ready for.

I would like add to these factors a fourth one which is the perseverance of Samir Kuntar. Samir stood firm. He did not lose sight of his ideals. He stayed committed to them and his commitment was visible in his letters home. During the negotiations, he never once put pressure on us to hurry the talks and free him faster. He gave us time, so that we could achieve the best possible results for the other detainees.

Another thing I would like to point out is the perseverance of the other detainees. We saw them on TV in Israeli courts. When one of you was asked whether he would fight again if he received orders [from me]to do so, it brought tears to my eyes to hear him say If he went into the sea we would follow him without him having to ask us to do so.

In addition to these, I must mention the families of the detainees and the martyrs who put their trust in us; who had confidence in us. These families helped us go in the right direction and achieve the best results possible.

These were very important factors in the negotiations. We must not forget that these results were obtained through their efforts. Our negotiators were under a lot of pressure from all sides.

Regarding the unity government, I would like to stress that we are ready to address all issues without any exceptions; we are ready to discuss all issues for the sake of Lebanon's future.

We must not forget Imam Mousa Sadr, and we hope he comes back with his two colleagues. Our brother Samir is well known in the world because of his thirty-year imprisonment in Israeli prisons. Thirty years have also passed since Imam Mousa Sadr was kidnapped. As I have said before we would like to resolve this issue. If he is still alive send him back to us and we will thank you. If he has been martyred tell us and give us his body.

Martyrdom is what Imam Mousa Sadr desired most and it is what his family wanted as well. The issue of Imam Mousa Sadr must be dealt with and all ambiguities must be resolved in this issue.

I know the sensitivity of the official Arab relations and the questions raised about Imam Mousa Sadr's fate. Although we are speaking about the detainees today, we must not forget Imam Mousa Sadr, the person who laid the foundation of resistance in Lebanon. Once again, I call on the world of Islam to help bring Imam Mousa Sadr and his brothers back to Lebanon.

My dear brothers and sisters, all of you who are waiting for the return of the bodies of your loved ones tomorrow, all who are present I would like to congratulate you on this victory because this victory is your victory. It is your achievement. I would like to pray for all the detainees, I would like to pray that they will return home as soon as possible.

I pray for Lebanon. Samir Kuntar must be viewed as a national treasure, and we must treat him in a befitting manner. He has endured much pain and suffering in captivity. I also pray our brothers who still remain in captivity will be freed.

Source: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=63979&sectionid=3510302

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