Translation by Rania Masri [not word for word]
Regarding the assassination of the martyr Samir el-Kuntar
– After a few days, there will be the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ – and on this anniversary, we extend our greetings to all the Christians and Muslims. A few days later, is the anniversary of the birth of Prophet Mohammed, and we extend our greetings to all the Muslims on this occasion and we ask God for the blessings of both these two prophets to extend mercy and security and happiness to all the region and to open the hearts and minds of all to love and mercy that these two great leaders brought to the world.
– Yesterday, we lost one of our brothers who shared in the birth of Hezbollah from its first hours and carried heavy responsibility for 33 years – el Sheikh Mohammed Khatoun. I shall speak more about him at the date of his funeral tomorrow. I extend condolences to his family and loved ones.
– Before I speak about the main event – I want to speak about what happened in Nigeria a few days ago – a massacre in Zariah. Hundreds were killed. Hundreds were injured. Hundreds were detained. We include our voice among the voices of all who condemned this massacre, and we condemn the silence of all those who chose to be silent – a horrific silence. There is talk of up to 1000 killed. And we call on the Nigerian government and its political parties – to act with strength to hold those responsible and to have a national and humanitarian response. I worry that there are American or Israeli hands or Tafkiri hands that are behind this horrific massacre – designed to create more bloodshed in Nigeria.
– Back to our main point of discussion
– The assassination of the General of the Political Prisoners in the Israeli Jails – the brother, the martyr, Samir el Quntar
– (1) The facts. We have no doubt that the Israeli enemy is the one behind the assassination. It was not a covert operation – but an open attack. The assassination was by Israeli jets – against a residential home, that specifically targeted Samir el Quntar and other fighters and civilians. Did the Israeli jets enter Syrian air space or the did the Israeli jets fly over occupied Golan Heights – that is a detail, one that does not change anything, unless the discussion is about Syria and Russia and today that is not our focus. What is clear is that it was an Israeli attack against a residential home in Geramana in the outskirts of Damascus. I extend condolences to all those martyred. Anyone who kills a man like Samir el Quntar does a service to Israel.
– (2) We know and Samir knew and the Israelis themselves did not hide – that Israel would not leave Samir el Quntar alive, from the first day of his release. The threat was alive throughout all the years, months, days. Israel was very open that it would not forgive him for his past nor on his strength and resilience in jail nor on his dedication to the resistance. Israel does not forgive – it is our governments that forgives the murderers of Deir Yassin to Qana. This talk by Israel was before the plan for building resistance in the occupied Golan Heights. We in Hezbollah hold the enemy Israel responsible for the assassination of Samir el Quntar
– (3) In this night I do not want to talk about the characteristics of this great martyr. I shall simply say tonight that Samir el Quntar was a lover of Palestine. Palestine was all his love and filled his heart and mind. Palestine’s destiny and the destiny of Palestine’s people and the future of the resistance was always his first and main focus. In our first visit upon liberation, he and I spoke – and we always leave options open – I told him that he has numerous options – politics, media, and military. He told then what he told others publicly: I left Palestine to return to Palestine. He told me that from this very moment I am ready to participate in any military operation, whether on the border with occupied Palestine or within occupied Palestine. I await my martyrdom, he said. It would be an honor to me to be a fighter, he said. That is Samir, that is his truth that we must say today. Does the enemy Israel imagine that by killing Samir and those like him that they can kill such love and passion and commitment and the vast sacrifice of the people of this nation? Many great leaders have been killed and tens of thousands of people have been martyred – in Palestine and Lebanon and Syria and Egypt and Jordan. And what was the result? Has this nation and these people and these generations given up on Palestine? NO. A generation grew up to inherit resistance and to give it to the next generation. The blood of Samir el Kuntar and those who passed before him – is that the resistance against Israel for liberation is a call that will not be broken, regardless of who will be killed and detailed and tortured; this is a call that will not be broken. Look now at the people of occupied Palestine – this is a generation that is as old as Samir el Kuntar was when he went to occupied Palestine (i.e. 17). The youth of Palestine fight death with death. Tens of them have been martyred as they fight with knives – because that is their only option. They have entered terror in the hearts of the enemy. When we see a youth in her prime – such as (martyr) Ashraqat Tamami – and when I speak of her, I speak of all the youth of Palestine, I discovered that this youth (female) had a great deal of awareness and clarity and dedication and deep understanding to the cause that she wants to sacrifice for and to the understanding of the enemy and the friend, and for the calmness of her decision. Ashraqat is today a model for many of Palestine’s youth – who love with a passion the land and freedom. They carry the same passion that Samir el Quntar carried and it remained in his heart until a traitorous Israeli rocket killed him.
– (4) Our position. When Israel attacks, anywhere it chooses and how it choose and in any time it does, it is the right of the resistance – anywhere, and any how, and in any place, and at any time. Today, I repeat: from now, any member of Hezbollah that is killed, we shall hold the responsibility to the Israelis and we shall consider it is our right to respond at any time, at any location, and in the manner we choose. We said this on the 30th of January 2015. Today, we say, to the enemy and to the friend, Samir el Quntar is one of us, and he is a leader in our resistance, and Israelis killed him, and it is our right to respond to his assassination in the time, place, and in the manner that we choose. That is our right. And I add – we, in Hezbollah, we shall fulfill this right.
– (5) In the same vein, the killing against Hezbollah and this resistance, comes the US actions that seek to target Hezbollah on a number of levels. Since the early 90s, we as a party have been on the terrorism list – as a political party and as individuals. And for decades, the Americans have tried to force this description on other countries; they were not successful. Such a description is not accepted by the UN, and the EU, only lately, considers the military wing on the terrorism list, and China and Russia does not consider us as such. What the Americans decided to do now – even they though support terrorism worldwide — is that they consider us a criminal organization and not terrorism, claiming that we are drug dealers and that we are money launderers and that the US Congress now seeks to investigate the accusation that we are human traffickers. These accusations are false and have no basis in truth. It is our duty to deny them. We are not due to show evidence to our innocence. It is their responsibility to show evidence – if they have any, although they have long made accusations without evidence. Clearly, these accusations are political – and it’s first objective is to show Hezbollah in a bad light. They are the ones who spent millions of dollars, as per their own Ambassador, to create propaganda against Hezbollah for the Arab youth. We have a strong example here: the international organization of nuclear energy presented a report about the Iranian nuclear energy – and they said that that the Iranian nuclear energy is peaceful and at the very least, since 2009 until today, there is no evidence of anything military in the Iranian nuclear energy. They presented the evidence, and one of the jury of the international organization is an American and there was a consensus on the report! a full consensus. Let us remember that it was the Americans that accused Iran for years. Also the Europeans. And let’s not forget Netanyahu in many occasions, including his speech at the UN. Netanyahu should be a joke internationally and even for Israel – let’s remember his chart at UN when he said that Iran would have a nuclear bomb in a few months. And now we have this report – with consensus – that there is no evidence of military usage of Iran’s nuclear energy. Let’s remember that they were planning a war against Iran, and they enforced sanctions against more than 80 million people, and they threatened, unfortunately with some of their Arab collaborators. That is just one example of a political accusation. The accusations against us are small in comparison. With the battle against us, they won’t accuse of getting nuclear weapons. This is what they have to say against – either terrorist or criminal. That is the end of their line. The line of their lie is short. The truth will eventually exposed. We know, in front of God, in front of our people, in front of many people, this is not who we are. If they think their accusations are a propaganda war, it will fail. From a financial perspective, they have now forced upon international banks to freeze Hezbollah funds – well, this was closed a long time ago. We do not have funds in international banks. Now, they are also putting pressure on Lebanese banks and the Lebanese central bank – to put pressure on any organization that is claimed to be tied to Hezbollah. We also state today, and state it again, we have no funds in Lebanese banks, not in the past nor in the present, nor do we have funds that we put in any banks. Nor do we transfer our funds via Lebanese banks – so there is no need for either the Lebanese central bank or any Lebanese banks to feel fear of being chased by the Americans. Furthermore, as I have stated before and shall say again, we are not a business nor an investment. We do not have companies nor are we partners with any Lebanese merchants. Whatever funds we have, we give to our resistance and to the families of the injured and the martyrs. We not have an extra penny that we invest or put in any fund.
– Based on this, we have to speak seriously about this – it is the responsibility of the Lebanese Central Bank and the Lebanese banks to protect the Lebanese consumers and merchants! It is enough that one sign come from the Americans for there to be an accusation against an individual, and these banks immediately follow. Does this county not have sovereignty? Not have its own courts? Its own state? There are Lebanese merchants and investors that are hurt. We are not hurt. But now if Americans want to target a particular political current or a particular community, all they do is give the names to the Lebanese banks! These are Lebanese who should be protected by the Lebanese State. I do not ask the Lebanese State to protect any member of Hezbollah – but at the very least, it is the responsibility of the State to protect the men and women of this country. No one is asking the State to declare war on the US, only to ask for evidence for these accusations and to take the evidence to the Lebanese courts. This has already begun — this subservience to the US!
– Furthermore, with regards to the media, whether it is part of our network (Manar and Nour) or accused of supporting us or even empathizing with us – they are being threatened! The US is accusing you and judging you in absentia and charging you and killing you and you are not allowed to speak and if you speak, your voice cannot reach anywhere in the world. That is the freedom and democracy of the United States. Your media is not allowed – and maybe it will reach the stage that any media that shows the truth will be accused of being pro-terrorism, while knowing of course that anyone with a Dish can see hundreds of channels that call for takfiri and for killing and raping and committing terrorism and destruction and occupation and violence; those channels are accepted. But you and your kind of the resistance are targeted, and the real reason is Israel, and not our position in Yemen or otherwise, but the real reason is that you are a resistance! The intention is Resistance itself – the discourse, the culture, the knowledge base of Resistance!
– Media is part of the struggle. We will not surrender. We will look for all options and opportunities so that the voice of Resistance and the voice of all who reject the project of Israel and the US in the region – those voices will be heard. This is an ongoing struggle.
– What is more important about all these actions against us, is how we look upon all these actions. You can see the negative, but there is also the positive. The fact that Congress sits and meets and has consensus and continues to think about new ways to fight us – means that we are in the right place. They have given us more faith and strength. It shows that we are in the right struggle, the right battle, the right discourse. Who ever finds himself – knowingly or not – a partner with the US and Zionism, let him re-examine his nationalism and religion and ethics! These actions by the US are also a recognition of us, that we are not a small group with small consequences. It is a recognition that Hezbollah plays a large role in Lebanon and in the region in fighting the Israeli project and the hegemonic project. As part of the Resistance – and we don’t claim to fight alone, just as we didn’t fight alone in 1982 and since – there were many US projects of hegemony, we are part of this battle and not alone. That is why the US Congress needs to take these declarations with clear time lines — they take us seriously. We also say that we understand these actions, see how loving we are. We understand these actions. When we are enemies to each other, and this is a compliment to us – to be enemies to the US and to Israel and enemies to all who want to steal the riches of our people and to all who want to destroy our civilization, we understand that they would want to do all these things, and we also will not surrender in this battle. I say to the US and to Israel and to their allies in the region: all these actions against us, from sanctions and murders, you will not be able to erase us. All the actions against us and are planned against us – will only increase our commitment.
– May God have mercy on our great martyr Samir el Kuntar…