Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in a passionate speech Monday, showed videos that he claims are proof that Israel was behind the 2005 car-bomb massacre of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. One video shows footage, allegedly from Israeli surveillance planes that flew near the site of the assassination, generally attributed to Syria and Hizbullah.
"Such footage generally comes as the first leg of the execution of an operation," Nasrallah said in a video link, again avoiding a public appearance for fear of being targeted.
A second video depicted an alleged spy for Israel telling Hariri that Hizbullah was trying to kill him. Nasrallah claimed Israel was trying to cover up its own intentions to assassinate Hariri. The video shows supposed Israeli agent Ahmed Nasrallah, unrelated to the Hizbullah leader, telling Hariri that Hizbullah had unsuccessfully tried to assassinate himself several times.
Hariri was fiercely anti-Syrian, and Hassan Nasrallah (pictured) explained that Israel wanted him killed so that it could blame Hizbullah and force Syria out of Lebanon.
Lebanese legislator Mustafa Alloush asked on the Voice of Free Lebanon radio station Monday, "Why didn't Nasrallah provide information in the past, particularly since five years have passed since the assassination and he had previously accused Israel? Did data and evidence suddenly surface?"
Nasrallah promised several days ago that he would expose dramatic evidence implicating Israel in the murder of Hariri, but the lack of any clear evidence in his speech Monday left observers wondering whether he is cracking under psychological pressure of expected indictments by a United Nations tribunal against Hizbullah terrorists.
Nasrallah’s speech was timed to mark the end of the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006. The war ended in mid-August, but Nasrallah moved up his oratory to avoid its falling during the period of daily fasting in the Muslim month of Ramadan.
Nasrallah also said in his speech that Hizbullah foiled an Israeli naval commando maneuver against Hizbullah in 1997 after the terrorist organization allegedly obtained photographs from an Israel unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) showing that Israeli ships were heading for Lebanon. He said that the information allowed Hizbullah to prepare a trap that enabled it to kill 12 Israeli commandos.