In his first live appearance since September 2006, Hizbullah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah claimed in a speech Saturday that the IDF had left behind body parts of its soldiers on the field in the Second Lebanon War.
“I tell the Israelis, we have the heads of your soldiers, we have hands, we have legs… there is even a near-complete body, a half or three-quarters of a body from head to chest to the torso,” he claimed.
The IDF spokesman’s office said in a statement that Nasrallah’s claims “constitute a cruel and cynical move by an organization that flagrantly tramples the most fundamental ethical codes, shows no respect for human rights or the international conventions that govern these matters.
“Even more so, his speech demonstrates that the Hezbollah terrorist organization violates the values that are sacred to all religions including Islam. We call upon all those with the most basic common sense to view him as cowardly and to condemn him,” said the statement.
The families of IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, whose kidnapping by Hizbullah terrorists in July 2006 set off the war, both stated that Nasrallah’s remarks were not relevant to their loved ones.
“By our estimation, Nasrallah did not address the abducted soldiers,” said Regev’s brother Ayal. “It’s all part of the psychological war he is carrying out.”
Goldwasser’s wife Karnit had a similar reaction. “From our perspective, he hasn’t said anything,” she said.
Neither soldier has been seen or heard from since their abduction. Representatives of various governments and agencies, including the International Red Cross, have been barred from visiting them, in violation of the Geneva Convention.
The Hizbullah chief terrorist’s speech included some sabre-rattling about the group’s readiness to fight Israeli forces again. “I announce that our forces are on full alert to confront any possible war against Lebanon,” he declared. “If Israel carries out any new aggression against us, we promise to retaliate in a war that will change the whole map of the region.”
Nasrallah’s speech at a rally celebrating the Shi’ite Ashoura festival in southern Beirut was his first live appearance. The Hizbullah chief went into hiding a few weeks after the end of the war in fear of being assassinated by the IDF, which has threatened to kill him. His speeches have been delivered via video link and television.
In his speech, Nasrallah made a point of including US President George W. Bush, who completed what he called a “satanic” eight-day tour of the region last week, as a target. Hizbullah has been funded, trained and equipped by Iran.
“Bush wants to convince our rulers and people that Iran is the enemy, that Iran poses a danger and a threat and that Israel is a brother, a beloved friend and neighbor for whom we must extend our hand in peace,” he said. “The entire (Arab) nation is called upon to reply to Bush’s trip by staying committed to the choice of (armed) resistance and supporting resistance groups everywhere.”
Israeli security officials noted that Saturday was the second time Nasrallah has made such a statement in the recent past, adding that the Hizbullah leader is under pressure to close a deal on a prisoner swap for Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails.