Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah publicly admits that his organization is rearming and secretly transporting arms to south Lebanon, in blatant violation of Security Council Resolution 1701.

Issued on: 21/02/2007 Type: Article

 

In his speech, Nasrallah admits that Hezbollah is rearming and secretly transporting
arms and ammunition to south Lebanon
(Al-Manar, February 16)

Summary of Nasrallah�s speech

1. On February 16, 2007, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave a belligerent, arrogant speech in a ceremony held in south Beirut (in the neighborhood of Al-Rawis) on the anniversary of the killing of two senior Hezbollah figures. In his speech, Nasrallah admitted that his organization was rearming and secretly smuggling arms and ammunition to south Lebanon , in blatant violation of Security Council Resolution 1701 (which ended the second Lebanon war).

2. Following are the highlights of Hassan Nasrallah's speech (Al-Manar Television, February 16):

a. Hezbollah is rearming: �We are being very clear and we are saying that we have arms. We are not lying and [we are] telling it to the whole world. We have arms [Nasrallah stresses the word �arms�]� of all shapes and sizes� The resistance [i.e., Hezbollah] has arms. It is saying it in public, adding that it is rearming and increasing the scope of its armament in order to get more dangerous arms��

b. Hezbollah is secretly transporting arms to the Israeli front: �The resistance [i.e., Hezbollah] notes that it is transporting the arms to the front. We do not hide it. Doing it in secret is only natural. Could we do it openly? How?... We concealed our arms because we wanted to conceal them from our enemies� We are transporting the arms in secret because it is our right� We are transporting the arms secretly and in straw trucks so as to not embarrass you [the Lebanese government]��

c. Confiscating a Hezbollah arms truck by the Lebanese government (February 8): ��As for the resistance [i.e., Hezbollah] and the latest incident of [confiscating] the arms truck, which, incidentally, contained ammunition�that is, Katyushas �surprisingly, we heard many people claim that it was explosive charges, guns, and rifles, that we were smuggling for the parties [that is, for Lebanese parties allied with Hezbollah]� The customs know what the truck contained� The Lebanese army, too, submitted a report about it to senior officials� The arms confiscated [by the Lebanese government] are arms taken from their rightful owners��


A civilian truck used by Hezbollah to smuggle arms, confiscated by the Lebanese army in the Beirut neighborhood of Hazimiyah (Reuters, February 8, photo by STR News). It is our assessment that the arms were smuggled from Syria . In his speech, Hassan Nasrallah expressed his dissatisfaction with the confiscation of the truck.

d. Hezbollah as the �defender of Lebanon �, helping the Lebanese army: �In the last confrontation [that took place] in front of Maroun al-Ras, 1 members of the resistance [i.e., Hezbollah] were in top shape to assist the officers and soldiers of the Lebanese army if the conflict had developed. The resistance in south Lebanon [i.e., Hezbollah] is not a burden on the Lebanese army [but rather] genuine assistance for the Lebanese army. For our arms are the arms of the Lebanese army, our rockets are the rockets of the Lebanese army, our depots are the depots of the Lebanese army� Together, side by side, we will fight to defend Lebanon ��

e. Hezbollah is committed to continue terrorism in its capacity as the �defender� of Lebanon : ��We stress our commitment to the resistance [i.e., the way of violence and terrorism], to the cause of the resistance and to the project of the resistance that defends the homeland� I am saying that we will remain on the border, in Beirut , and everywhere in Lebanon . We are Lebanese, and this country is our country� Every clod of earth in the south is to us a drop of a shahid's blood. Every rock in the south is to us a shahid's body� Every olive tree in the south is to us the loving and sparkling soul of the jihad warriors of the resistance� and Hezbollah� is willing to wage jihad and persist with its struggle for justice in all areas��

Assessment

3. In his speech, Hassan Nasrallah publicly admitted that Hezbollah is rebuilding its military arsenal, damaged in the war, and even claimed that it is well within its right to do so in its capacity (according to Nasrallah) as �the defender of Lebanon�. One of the central components in the rehabilitation of the military arsenal, on which Nasrallah spoke in great detail, is the renewal and replenishment of the arms and ammunition delivered to Hezbollah by Iran and Syria . The arms and ammunition, which include Katyusha rockets (which, as Nasrallah admitted, were found in the truck confiscated by the Lebanese army), are smuggled from Syria to the Beqaa Valley and, once there, secretly transported to south Lebanon (as noted by Nasrallah in his speech). Nasrallah's arrogant language is a reflection of his increasing self-confidence and his desire to convey an uncompromising message to its opponents in Lebanon and elsewhere, according to which he will not give up his status as the �defender of Lebanon �.

4. Nasrallah's speech clearly demonstrates that Hezbollah systematically and fundamentally violates Security Council Resolution 1701 (August 12), in defiance of the Lebanese government and UNIFIL (and, in fact, the entire international community), which bear the responsibility to implement the resolution. According to Security Council Resolution 1701, Hezbollah and other terrorist elements must be disarmed as stipulated in the Taif Accord (1989) and in the relevant Security Council resolutions. The resolution also states that the Lebanese government, with the assistance of UNIFIL, should exercise its authority across its entire territory and, within that context, to rid south Lebanon of the presence and arms of Hezbollah and the other terrorist organizations. Likewise, the resolution forbids transporting arms to Hezbollah (and the other terrorist organizations) by land, sea, and air 2 (see Appendix).

5. Contrary to Hassan Nasrallah's provocations regarding Hezbollah's rearming, he did not address the assistance his organization receives from Iran and Syria, the two countries behind Hezbollah's rehabilitation process. 3 The assistance extended by the two countries to Hezbollah is a blatant violation of Clause 15 in Security Council Resolution 1701, calling upon all countries to take the necessary measures to prevent the use of their territory or their ships and planes to provide arms, ammunition, and military equipment to unauthorized parties in Lebanon.

Comparison of several clauses from Security Council Resolution 1701
with excerpts from Hassan Nasrallah�s speech

No.

Security Council Resolution 1701

Nasrallah's speech on February 16

1

Clause 3:

Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty , so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the Government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the Government of Lebanon;

�Our arms are the arms of the Lebanese army, our rockets are the rockets of the Lebanese army, our depots are the depots of the Lebanese army. Together, side by side, we will fight to defend Lebanon � We stress our commitment to the resistance [i.e., the way of violence and terrorism], to the cause of the resistance and to the project of the resistance that defends the homeland� I am saying that we will remain on the border, in Beirut , and everywhere in Lebanon .�

 

�[It is] the right of the resistance to hold arms, using which it will liberate the lands and defend its homeland� We are not ashamed of that��

2

Clause 8

Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution based on the following principles and elements:

 

-- security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities , including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11, deployed in this area;

 

-- full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon , so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of 27 July 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese State ;

�The resistance [i.e., Hezbollah] has arms. It is saying it in public, adding that it is rearming and increasing the scope of its armament in order to get more dangerous arms��

 

�The resistance [i.e., Hezbollah] notes that it is transporting the arms to the front [i.e., to south Lebanon , near the border with Israel ]� Doing it in secret is only natural��

 

�Our arms are the arms of the Lebanese army, our rockets are the rockets of the Lebanese army, our depots are the depots of the Lebanese army� Together, side by side, we will fight to defend Lebanon �� [that is, Hezbollah continues to exist as an armed terrorist organization alongside the Lebanese army]

3

Clause 14:

Calls upon the Government of Lebanon to secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel and requests UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11 to assist the Government of Lebanon at its request;

�As for� the incident of [confiscating] the arms truck, which, incidentally, contained ammunition� that is, Katyushas� The arms confiscated [by the Lebanese army] are arms taken from their rightful owners [i.e., Hezbollah]� Even if [they] do reach south Lebanon eventually��

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