The secretary-general of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has strongly condemned the brutal murder of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, saying those who seek normalization of ties with the occupying regime should be ashamed of this heinous crime.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks in a televised speech broadcast live from the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon on Friday, following the funeral of the veteran Al Jazeera journalist, who was shot in the head while covering the Israeli army’s raids in Jenin.
“Shireen Abu Akleh had for years been a witness to Israeli crimes against Palestinian people,” Nasrallah told the audience. “The first to be ashamed by this crime are all those who call for normalization of ties with the Zionist regime. The first to feel shame and disgrace are the compromisers. Those who try to convince the nations that the existence of ‘Israel’ is natural and should be coexisted with.”
The Hezbollah chief said the powerful message behind Abu Akleh’s martyrdom is that she was a Christian, and the Israeli regime does not distinguish between a Muslim and a Christian in Palestine.
“The message of the martyrdom of Abu Akleh was that everyone is in danger of the policies of the racist and inhuman regime.”
Thousands of Muslim and Christian Palestinians from al-Quds and from across the occupied territories, including many colleagues and fellow journalists, came to pay their respects to the veteran journalist in her funeral on Friday.
Media reports said Israeli forces assaulted mourners to prevent them from carrying Abu Akleh's coffin from hospital to the Roman Catholic Church in the Old City before taking her to the Mount Zion cemetery, where she was buried alongside her deceased parents.
Abu Akleh was highly regarded by viewers across the Muslim world, particularly in Palestine, where she was at the forefront of covering Israeli crimes and occupation for more than two decades.
Bekaa always an essential element of resistance
Addressing the Bekaa people participating in the event, Nasrallah said, “Bekaa and its people have always been an essential element of the resistance in terms of military presence on the field, and support.” The most important confrontation took place in 1982, he said, which stopped the advance of the Israeli enemy.
Nasrallah said the regime wants the people of Bekaa to abandon resistance and its weapons through political, financial and media bombardment.
“You are Hezbollah and you are the resistance,” he told the people of Bekaa. “There are those who plot against your sacrifices and your victories, and your answer should be at that level and fitting as well.”
Need for a just, capable government
Touching on the issue of Lebanon’s upcoming parliamentary elections, the secretary-general of Hezbollah said, “There is a need for a just and capable government in order to address and solve regional problems.”
“In every place that we took on a role with strength, we were able to of more service to people,” Nasrallah said. “We are among those who do not take money from a ministry but spend money on it if we assume the responsibility of that ministry.”
Nasrallah accused Washington of facilitating smuggling of the money of Lebanese depositors out of the country, saying the disappearance of $11 billion and wrong economic policies led to the current crisis in Lebanon.
The Hezbollah chief concluded his speech by saying, “The vote on election day is a message to all those conspiring against the resistance, its weapons, and the future of the Lebanese.”
Since late 2019, Lebanon has been mired in a deep financial crisis that has caused the Lebanese pound to lose about 90 percent of its value to the US dollar and led its banking system to collapse, plunging many people into poverty.
The economic and financial crisis is mostly linked to the sanctions that the United States and its allies have imposed on Lebanon as well as foreign intervention in the Arab nation’s domestic affairs. Many blame rampant corruption and mismanagement within the ranks of the political elite for the woes.
Parliamentary elections in Lebanon are held once every four years, and voters this year are to cast their ballots on May 15.
Hezbollah and its allies succeeded in winning majority seats in 2018. Lebanon’s parliament is equally divided between Christians and Muslims. The new legislature will elect a new president after President Michel Aoun’s term ends in October.