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Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech in commemoration of Resistance and Liberation Day, and directly addressed the military drills being conducted by Israel: “Israel wants to reassure its people and tell them that they are strong and ready to confront any possible war. They are also fooling them. Carry out your drills, but when rockets shower the occupied territories, let us see how these drills have benefited you.”

Full text of speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah

I give my blessings to all Lebanese, Arabs, Muslims and the free [people] of the world on this occasion of [Liberation Day] on the 10th anniversary of the army and people’s victory, the triumph of justice and determination.

I would like to thank the [residents of] the districts of South Lebanon, who did not fear [Israeli military drills] on Sunday. Despite all rumors, people headed to celebrate the freedom of expression and democracy, [a reference to the South municipal and mukhtar elections held on May 23].

I would also like to thank the Lebanese who participated in the first two rounds of municipal elections in Mount Lebanon, Beirut and Bekaa.

I hope the last round [of the elections on May 30 in the North] would [be held calmly].

The 1982 Israeli invasion [of Lebanon] was part of a regional plan. Lebanon, Syria and Palestine were part of this plan. In 2000, this US-Israeli plan failed.

Another plan, which was uncovered a while back, was Israel’s aim to build settlements in South Lebanon.

The project to build settlements failed largely due to the martyrdom operations, and the historical triumph came in 2000.

I ask all Arabs and the world: Who would have expected Israel to withdraw [from South Lebanon] in 2000? But that was the case.

There are several factors that ensured the victory in 2000. First, it was the people’s will, endurance and embracing of the Resistance, especially the people of the South and the Bekaa, [that helped with reaching that victory].

[The second factor] was the political stability in the country during the 1990s.

Thirdly, it was by the distribution of roles between the Lebanese army and the Resistance. The Resistance did not intervene in [Lebanon’s] domestic security situation.

Fourth, it was the government’s [ability] to face international pressures at that time.

Also, it was Syria and Iran’s support [for Lebanon against Israel], which we are grateful for.

Now, we reach the primary factor [that led to the triumph], which is the Resistance and its martyrs. They [pushed] Israel to withdraw [from South Lebanon]. We are the ones who imposed humiliating conditions on Israel during its pullout.

The clause of the Ministerial Statement [that the Lebanese army, people and Resistance are all legitimate means to face the recurrent Israeli threats], and as President [Michel Sleiman] said [on Monday], represents the official Lebanese position.

The president expresses the position of the majority of the Lebanese, but not all of the Lebanese.

There is no unanimous Lebanese stance with or against the Resistance, but there is always a majority [that supports] the Resistance.

Reaching compromise in [the Middle East], especially regarding the Palestinian [cause], is [difficult].

Lebanon and Syria are in the circle of concern regionally and internationally. The question that everyone is asking is whether or not there will be a new war.

No one denies that Israel is currently anxious and confused. We see [the Israelis] training and holding drills [in reference to Turning Point 4 drills]. These affect their economy, tourism and security. However, they are to deal with Israel’s shortcomings of the 2006 July War.

Victory paved the way [for introducing] of new balances.

We know that during the 2006 [July War], some asked Israel not to end the war so that Hezbollah and Lebanon would not be triumphant, and this remains a plausible possibility.

Why is Israel holding such drills for the first time?

Israel wants to reassure [its people] and tell them that they are strong and ready to confront any possible war. They are also fooling their [people by telling them so].

[Addressing Israel]: Carry out your drills, but when rockets shower the occupied territories, let us see how these drills have benefited you.

Now Lebanon

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