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Nasrallah: Normalization, free service from UAE to embattled Netanyahu, Trump

A frame grab provided by Lebanon’s al-Ahed news website shows Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivering his annual Ashura day speech on August 30, 2020.

Hezbollah’s secretary-general says the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s move earlier this month to normalize relations with Israel was a “free-of-charge service” provided by Abu Dhabi to the politically-embattled officials in Israel and the United States.

“The Emirates’ move was service given free of charge to Donald Trump, the president of the United States, and Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of the Zionist regime,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said during his annual address marking Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (PBUH).

Trump announced on August 13, 2020 that the UAE and Israel had agreed to normalize ties.

The agreement was met with uniform condemnation on the Arab street.

It came in the middle of near-daily mass rallies by Israeli people demanding Netanyahu’s resignation over corruption and incompetence. It also coincided with widespread unrest in the United States over racial discrimination and brutality by police.

When the deal was announced, Israel was openly speaking of plans to annex the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley. Emirati officials claimed Tel Aviv had agreed to suspend those plans in return for the normalization of ties.

But shortly after the deal was made public, Netanyahu denied that those plans had been frozen.

Nasrallah said Netanyahu did not bother to help save the face of Emirati officials, coming out quickly to deny the suspension of the annexation plans.

Netanyahu, Nasrallah added, also belied an Emirati claim that Tel Aviv would provide Abu Dhabi with drones as part of the deal.

Hezbollah ‘will never recognize Israel, victory matter of time’

Nasrallah said any attempt toward the recognition of the Israeli regime by any party was condemned.

He reasserted Hezbollah’s position of never recognizing the Israeli regime.

The Hezbollah chief said the resistance front’s victory was “only a matter of time.”

‘Saudi Arabia, UAE only US instruments in Yemen war’

Nasrallah called the Saudi-led war on Yemen an essentially “US-led” war.

He said Washington was only using Saudi Arabia and the UAE as “instruments” in the war, which has killed tens of thousands of Yemenis and pushed Yemen close to the brink of famine.

Meanwhile, in another speech on Saturday, Hezbollah’s secretary-general said Arab and Western embassies in Lebanon were spending “millions” of dollars on a media war targeting the Lebanese resistance movement.

The foreign embassies pay the hefty sums to “media outlets to target Hezbollah by spreading false news and lies,” Lebanese news website al-Ahed quoted Nasrallah as saying.

“They are paying money in exchange for spewing venom,” Nasrallah said. “They have gone beyond the realms of lying, [going as far as] provocation, insults, and slurs against Hezbollah.”

He said the smear campaign of such proportions against the group was unprecedented.

The Hezbollah chief said the media war was being directed from a command center that sometimes fed the same misinformation to all of its subsidiary news outlets.

Hezbollah has resisted pressure targeting Lebanon by Israel and its biggest ally, the United States. In the 2000s, it forced the Israeli military to retreat during two wars on Lebanon.

Nasrallah said the propaganda campaign was aimed at demoralizing the group and making it abandon the causes for which it has been making many sacrifices.

He said, however, that “neither intimidation nor murder can scare us.”

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