30 January 2015, 15:36
Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah declared on Friday that the party no longer recognizes the rules of engagement with Israel, saying that it has the right to respond to an Israeli attack in any way or time it deems fit.
He said: “The resistance no longer recognizes the rules of engagement and it has the right to respond to the enemy at any time or place.”
He made his remarks during a speech commemorating the “Resistance’s Martyrs in Quneitra,” in the wake of an Israeli strike on the Syrian region on January 18 that left six Hizbullah members and an Iranian general dead.
Nasrallah added: “From now on, if any member of Hizbullah is assassinated, then we will blame it on Israel and reserve the right to respond to it whenever and however we choose.”
“We have the right to confront the enemy at any time, place, or manner,” he announced via video-link before a crowd of thousands gathered at Sayyed al-Shohada complex in Beirut’s southern suburb of Dahieh.
“If Israel is banking that we fear war, then I tell it that we do not fear war and we will not hesitate in waging it if it is imposed on us,” he continued.
“We do not want a war, but we do not fear it,” he clarified.
On the Quneitra strike, he said that Israel did not claim responsibility for the “assassination,” believing that Hizbullah is weak and would not retaliate to it.
The strike targeted two civilian vehicles in Quneitra, killing the six Hizbullah members and Iranian general, said Nasrallah.
Israel is not concerned with the hundreds of al-Qaida-affiliated al-Nusra Front members on its borders in the occupied Golan Heights, but it felt threatened by these two vehicles, remarked the party leader.
“We did not hesitate in making the decision that Israel should be punished for its crime in Quneitra even if it meant going to an all-out war,” he revealed, saying that the party immediately began planning its retaliation.
“We prepared ourselves for the worst case scenario when we took that decision,” said Nasrallah.
“Israel for its part took all preparations in anticipation of our retaliation,” he added.
“We chose our response at the Shebaa Farms and in broad daylight in spite of Israel’s precautions,” he declared.
Hizbullah retaliated to the Quneitra strike on Wednesday with an attack against an Israeli convoy in the occupied Shebaa Farms in the South.
Two Israeli soldiers were killed in the operation.
In the wake of the operation, Israel discovered that its leadership’s assessment of the situation on the ground was “idiotic,” noted Nasrallah in his speech.
“The Israeli people discovered that their leadership put them on the brink of war, jeopardizing their economy and security,” he added.
“Israel learned that it should not test us again given the Quneitra strike and Shebaa Farms operation,” he warned.
He also added: “It is our duty, as we commemorate the martyrs of the resistance, to salute the martyrs of the Lebanese army, who were killed in Ras Baalbek as they were defending the Bekaa against takfiri terrorists, who prove everyday that they are fulfilling the Israeli agenda.”
The army last week fought battles with extremists in the eastern Bekaa region of Ras Baalbek.
Eight soldiers were killed in the fighting that erupted when the terrorists attacked a military surveillance post in the area.
The clashes were the latest round of unrest between the army and extremists infiltrating the borders from Syria since the eruption of the uprising in the neighboring country in 2011.