Hezbollah Chief Makes Rare Public Appearance

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah appears in public for celebration of Shiite holiday, promises another appearance on Tuesday.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in rare pub
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in rare pub

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah made a rare public appearance on Monday in the Lebanese capital's southern suburbs, according to AFP.

Nasrallah addressed thousands of his supporters ahead of the Shiite Ashura holiday commemorations.

As he appeared on stage wearing a black robe and turban, the crowd seen in a live broadcast on Hezbollah's Al-Manar television began cheering wildly, as they apparently had not expected to see him.

The head of the group, whose forces are fighting in Syria alongside the troops of President Bashar Al-Assad, usually addresses supporters via video link for fear of assassination by Israel.

Nasrallah had not been seen in public since July, when he attended a rally to show support for Gaza, noted AFP.

Monday's appearance in the southern suburbs of Beirut, a Hezbollah stronghold, was his sixth since his group fought Israel in a devastating and deadly war in 2006.

Nasrallah has also made enemies with Sunni jihadists from Syria since his group acknowledged its involvement in that country's conflict.

Hezbollah's fighters clashed with jihadists in eastern Lebanon in October, and its strongholds have come under repeated bomb attacks over its involvement in the Syrian conflict.

In his remarks on Monday, the Hezbollah leader called for a large turnout for festivities on Tuesday.

"Tomorrow we will prove that we are above any threat, any danger, any challenge," Nasrallah was quoted by AFP as having said.

Hezbollah is planning to hold a massive rally in the southern suburbs of Beirut on Tuesday, and Nasrallah is due to address the crowds again.

The Hezbollah chief said his movement would back its main Christian ally, Michel Aoun, in Lebanon's long-delayed presidential vote.

Lebanese parliament is tasked by the constitution to select a president, a decision that has already been put off 14 times as the war in Syria continues to divide rival political blocs.