The secretary-general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has denounced calls by some political parties for the disarmament of the movement in the run-up to next week’s parliamentary elections, saying the demand comes amid those parties' utter disregard for the worsening economic crisis in the country.
“I want the entire Lebanese nation to know that those who are calling for the disarmament of the resistance are unaware of what the southerners went through since 1948,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech broadcast live from the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Monday evening.
“Some political forces have unfortunately turned Hezbollah's disarmament into the main topic of their electoral campaigns,” Nasrallah said, stressing that the parties that are “pushing for the handover of Hezbollah’s weapons want to sell Lebanon to US and make it susceptible in face of Israel.”
“Those who are calling for Hezbollah’s disarmament disregard its achievements as to liberation of the occupied Lebanese territories and freedom of prisoners” from Israeli detention centers, Nasrallah said.
“Does Israel dare bomb any area in Lebanon today?” Nasrallah asked, attributing the deterrence to the presence of Hezbollah forces.
“We respect the army. It has a national creed as well as competent officers and soldiers. The Lebanese army, however, cannot shoulder the responsibility on its own at the moment, and cannot confront the Israeli enemy alone,” the Hezbollah leader said.
Nasrallah went on to emphasize that his movement is ready to discuss a national defense strategy, because it has “reason and evidence.”
He added that those making demands for Hezbollah’s disarmament have not yet offered “an alternative” in the face of Israeli acts of aggression.
“Who will protect southern Lebanon if the resistance abandons its duties? Hezbollah is the strong force protecting Lebanon today,” Nasrallah said.
He went on to lament that some Lebanese politicians “do not view Israel as an enemy” and do not believe that “the regime has ambitious plans for Lebanon's territorial waters and gas reserves.”
Nasrallah highlighted that the May 15 parliamentary elections will be a “political war” and that Hezbollah “will practice political resistance in the polls.”
“Those who want to defend Lebanon, extract its oil resources and protect its waters must vote for the resistance and its allies,” he pointed out.
“Some people are saying that they won't vote for the resistance due to the economic crisis. We tell that the resistance will guarantee extraction of natural gas and crude oil from Lebanon’s territorial waters in order to resolve the crisis,” Nasrallah added.
“Hundreds of billions of dollars are present in our waters,” Nasrallah said of Lebanon’s potential oil and gas reserves.
The Ansarullah chief went on to call on the Lebanese government to start investment in the country’s offshore oil reserves.
Nasrallah said the United States wants Lebanon to recognize Israel, and naturalize the Palestinian and Syrian refugees.
He finally made a reference to the Israeli military’s drills near the border with Lebanon, emphasizing that Hezbollah resistance fighters will not hesitate to respond to any aggression against their homeland.
“We are not afraid of your drills and your deployment. We are the ones who coined the expression 'Israel is weaker than a spider web' more than 20 years ago,” Nasrallah concluded.