Hezbollah’s second-in-command Sheikh Naim Qassem said the resistance movement will protect Lebanon and its sovereignty, and will not give an opportunity to Israel to launch an attack against the Arab country.
“We will neither give Israel nor anyone who recognizes it the opportunity to launch an attack without paying the price. We will not capitulate to those who wish to rob us of our honor and victory… We want to protect Lebanon, its sovereignty and independence, whereas they (those who recognize Israel) do not care if Israel is still occupying our lands,” Sheikh Qassem said during a ceremony in the Lebanese capital Beirut late on Friday.
Sheikh Qassem dismissed allegations that this month’s vast explosion in Beirut that killed 178 people, injured more than 6,000 others and destroyed swathes of the city was caused by a blast from a deposit of Hezbollah arms, emphasizing that such absurd claims have failed to undermine the resistance movement’s prowess.
“All allegations that Hezbollah used to store weapons at the port, warehoused massive amounts of ammonium nitrate there, and knew about their presence before the vast explosion have been vehemently rejected,” he pointed out, according to Press TV.
On August 18, Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun dismissed as “impossible” suggestions that the August 4 catastrophic explosion was caused by a blast from a deposit of Hezbollah arms, but said all possibilities would be investigated.
Hezbollah Secretary General Seyed Hassan Nasrallah had previously denied accusations that his resistance movement had weaponry warehoused at the Beirut port.
He has said that the group would wait for results of the investigation, but said if it turns out to be an act of sabotage by Israel then the regime would “pay an equal price.”
“Some political parties (in Lebanon) are advancing the hypothesis that Hezbollah was behind the Beirut blast, and are looking for pieces of evidence to corroborate such claims. Hezbollah will not resort to vile slanders in face of its opponents’ lies, and will not be influenced by such propaganda,” Sheikh Qassem highlighted.
He emphasized that Hezbollah resistance fighters are fully prepared to confront Israel’s acts of aggression and to liberate the Israeli-occupied territories.
Sheikh Qassem also underscored that Hezbollah supports a new Lebanese government that can reconstruct Beirut in the wake of the mega-blast, implement much-needed reforms and better embrace various political parties.
There are reports that the United States and a number of Persian Gulf kingdoms are pushing for the formation of a now government in Lebanon that will not include Hezbollah.