Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, under the microscope on charges of being behind the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, pointed the finger at Israel Tuesday and claimed he has proof to back his charges.
"I accuse the Israeli enemy of the assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and... I will prove this by unveiling sensitive information at a press conference on Monday," Nasrallah said in a speech on a video link. He rarely speaks in public because of fears of assassination.
He also accused Israel of trying frame Hizbullah for the assassination by highlighting the political difference between the Shi’ite Muslim terrorist organization and Hariri, who was a Sunni Muslim and openly anti-Syria.
A United Nations judicial panel has investigated the car bomb murder that killed Hariri and 22 others in Beirut and is expected to indict members of Hizbullah. In anticipation of an indictment, political tension has soared in Lebanon and prompted an unprecedented summit meeting last week between Lebanese leaders, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Saudi Arabian King Abdullah.
Some analysts have suggested the Hizbullah was linked with Tuesday’s ambush of Israeli soldiers at the northern border in order to take attention away from the Hariri probe. However, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday morning he does not believe Hizbullah was directly involved in the ambush.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor, quoted by the BBC said, "Nasrallah is under heavy pressure because of the coming allegations that he or his people did kill Rafiq al-Hariri...They may try to divert the attention to another incident."Nasrallah is under heavy pressure because of the coming allegations that he or his people did kill Rafiq al-Hariri.
Nasrallah delivered a threat to attack Israel in a fiery speech several hours after the Lebanese army fired on Israeli soldiers in Israel's territory, killing one officer and wounding another.
The IDF returned fire and killed three Lebanese soldiers and a journalist.Nasrallah warned Israel, "We will cut off the Israeli hand that reaches out to (attack) the Lebanese army. I say honestly, that in any place where the Lebanese army will be assaulted and there's a presence for the resistance, and it is capable, the resistance will not stand silent, or quiet or restrained.
"The Lebanese army did what it was asked to do, and that is to sacrifice soldiers. Even the Lebanese media sacrificed one of its own,” he said, referring to a journalist who was killed after having been invited to cover the ambush.
His speech was timed to mark the fourth anniversary of the United Nations Security Council ceasefire resolution that ended the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006. The actual date of the resolution is August 14, but Nasrallah advanced his speech because of the daily fast that begins next week with the start of the Muslim month of Ramadan.