“For us, any movement that claims to be a movement of faith should be a movement of science and knowledge. There cannot be separation between faith and knowledge. Imam Ali peace be upon him said that to begin with religion is to know it…One of the main characteristics of the resistance is that it is a movement that gives great heed to science, knowledge, and development of its material and human capabilities. This is why the Israeli enemy acknowledges that it’s been engaged in a war of brainpowers with the resistance. This specialized resistance will triumph in any future confrontation in case it was imposed on Lebanon…This generation is the generation that will witness the great rise of this ummah and the resounding defeat of the powers that have been controlling our choices, capabilities, and riches.”
THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS FILE
“The result of this Israeli violation is eavesdropping, access to short messages, access to subscribers’ data, location of their geographic positions, cloning SIM cards without the knowledge of the subscribers, thus enabling the Israelis of making calls and sending short messages [without subscribers’ knowledge]. They can even plant a phone number in the subscribers’ devices to make and receive calls. This is what we discovered when three of our brothers in the resistance were accused of being Israeli agents.”
The Hezbollah chief added that Israeli operators have been able to track the resistance fighters through the planted numbers. “Many people have been called in as Israeli agents based on telecommunications data, but after they underwent interrogation, it became evident they were not.
“This proves that Israel has full control of our telecommunications sector. The press conference [of minister Nahhas] shows that there is a serious Israeli violation of our sovereignty. Second, this brings us to the STL issue, which I will not address, because there are people who have this matter mixed up. We have a country, a strong army, institutions, and people who are talking about the cellular phone issue, many of them are experts. They all agree that this violation has really taken place and the sector has been under full control of Israel, and the scope of advantages [for Israel] is big; doesn’t this deserve to be tackled by the responsible officials in Lebanon? Some officials have lost their tongues as if nothing has happened. Beside the revelation by the telecommunications ministry, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) condemned Israel’s violation of this sector, yet politicians in Lebanon remained silent. Those of them who consider Israel an enemy, they could at least condemn this enemy for this violation.”
THE SPECIAL TRIBUNAL FOR LEBANON
Sayyed Nasrallah reminded about the frequent amendments of the laws that govern the STL. “This is a legislative and executive authority that does as it pleases and amends laws and regulations whenever it wants to. It is really odd how such power had been given to this tribunal. You [Bellemare] are heading toward indictments based on so-called telecommunications evidence. This is not evidence. Such evidence has absolutely no value
His eminence said Hezbollah has posed many questions about the tribunal the public opinion must know of. He questioned the STL’s decision to hold trials in absentia, a precedent in international tribunals.
“First, we asked some legal experts if international tribunals had ever conducted trials in absentia. The answer was that this was a precedent. Second, we asked if any international tribunal had ever kept witnesses secret. It seems that this is also a precedent. Third, we asked if any court had ever accepted a written testimony from a witness without appearing in the courtroom, especially in a sensitive case like this one, and when evidence is underrated. We are in front of a serious case and a condemnation that could mean the fate of a country. What is this justice? Have five years of investigations yielded any justice? Based on previous experiences, this tribunal adjusts its rules and procedures to easily issue premeditated verdicts. This is the weakest tribunal in history in terms of law and procedures.”
Sayyed Nasrallah promised to hold a press conference to stand on the legal and constitutional perspectives of this issue, based on studies and investigations conducted by a number of legal experts in Lebanon abroad. “In brief, this court has nothing to do with the Lebanese constitutional institutions; indeed it is an international resolution issued by the Security Council, but we all know how it was discussed and passed in Lebanon.”
Hezbollah’s S.G. warned that the “new development” was the Israeli factor “again.”
“I am talking about statements made by senior Israeli officials who confirmed supplying the STL with data. The international investigation panel is making use of Israeli data to continue its investigation instead of interrogating the Israelis. Has this investigation, that ignored the Israeli hypothesis [in the Hariri assassination], ever questioned Israel about the evidence [Hezbollah] previously presented?”
His eminence stressed that any solution should be based on the fact that “this indictment is dangerous and constitutes a threat to Lebanon and to its resistance.”
“There are some who believe that this indictment is an opportunity to get rid of Hezbollah, the enemy or the rival in Lebanon. We regard the indictment and its repercussions as a threat to Lebanon’s security; eventually this will affect our performance and conduct. This is why we regard those who adhere to the success of the Syrian-Saudi efforts also adhering to justice and stability in this country. In this context, we support the Syrian-Saudi track and we call on all other sides, Iranians, Turks, Qataris, or others, to help in this effort that represents the only way out of this crisis. There is great hope that a solution can be reached.”
Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that “instigation” had already started against those who would be targeted in the STL indictment. He warned against the “wrong indictment” that the Americans and the Israelis are rushing.
“We all know that the Israelis are bargaining on the indictment and its repercussion. Those who are speaking about a post-indictment solution, I can tell them that by then, it will be too late and we would all have lost the initiative. This is the difference between what’s before the indictment and what’s after it; we still have a chance to sit down and talk. We should not waste time; this is not the way to find a solution.”
His eminence stressed that time was of essence and that “all the evidence which the indictment will be based on have already been published in the Der Speigel magazine, Le Figaro, and the recent report on the Canadian television CBC, knowing that Canadian [prosecutor Daniel] Bellemare has control on the whole file.”
THE PULLOUT FROM THE TOWN OF GHAJAR
Sayyed Nasrallah lashed out at the Israeli plan to pullout from the town of Ghajar as “mere public relations game aimed at giving the international community a fine image of Israel.”
“Their step is incomplete; they are playing a game with regards to Ghajar while they continue to build settlements. Barack Obama’s administration, with all its gravitas, asked Netanyahu to stop building settlements for three months and offered ample military grants in return, but he turned them down, and the US expressed disappointment. They did not condemn it. But if any small incident happens to even an Israeli cow, we would see showers of condemnations falling on us from across the globe. The Lebanese part of Ghajar [northern part is Lebanese while southern part is Syrian] should return to Lebanon’s sovereignty. The government is free to send the Lebanese army or the Internal Security Forces there; Israel does not dictate who goes in and who does not. The UNIFIL are here to assist the Lebanese army. Their presence where the is no Lebanese army is meaningless. We consider UNIFIL forces replacing Israeli occupation forces in Ghajar as an unaccepted occupation in disguise.”
The Hezbollah chief added that the solution to the humanitarian problem that faces the residents of Ghajar is that Israel pulls out from the whole town.
“The logical solution is that Israel withdraws from the whole town, not just the Lebanese part. The other part of the town is Syrian territory, therefore, the solution is that the Lebanese part returns to Lebanon and the Syrian part is kept temporarily under the care of the Lebanese authorities, until the pullout is complete and the borders between Lebanon and Syria are delineated. We cannot turn a blind eye on the sufferings of the Ghajar residents because political wrangling.”
Sayyed Nasrallah said: “There is no doubt that as days pass by, we move closer towards a delicate stage that should be dealt with wisely and responsibly. Great heed should be given to our major interests. Many journalists have been writing about Hezbollah being afraid [of the STL, the indictment, and Israel]. These are miscalculations. This resistance is unprecedented in Lebanon. We have never been at this level of self confidence, power, ability, vigor, and domestic and regional presence. The indictment will not affect us. I remind you of the year 1996, when all the tyrants of the world met in Sharm el-Sheikh to save Israel from the martyrdom operations of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in occupied Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. They met and declared Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad as terrorist organizations. They formed a panel of security ministers and intelligence chiefs who met in the US in a bid to find ways to crush these three organizations. They waged a tremendous psychological war, but they never met again. Israel used this international condemnation to attack Lebanon with the aim of destroying Hezbollah so that Shimon Peres would win another term as PM. What was the result? We chose to confront this psychological war and with the same spirit and determination we confronted Israel’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ and the resistance won and Lebanon triumphed. Today I can tell those bargaining on the STL being the introduction of a new Israeli war that the STL is not more grandiose than Sharm el-Sheikh, and back then we were as strong as we are today. No one can pressure us, not before the indictment and certainly not after it.”
“They say that time cannot run backwards, and I agree with them. The time when you were able to threaten us or target our existence and dignity is over,” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.