, 117 tweets, 23 min read Read on Twitter
22-Nasrallah: Fmr. DM @bogie_yaalon said that Israel has known about the tunnels for years, and Israel lied about knowing about the tunnels in order to keep Hezbollah in the dark.
23-Nasrallah: I now direct a question to Israeli public and settlers in northern Israel: can you be sure @netanyahu and Israeli leadership are being honest when they tell you that they found all tunnels from Lebanon into Israel?
24-Nasrallah on whether Israeli Op ended Hezbollah's invasion of Galilee: Israel now carrying out several procedures to prevent Hezbollah from entering the Galilee - and I only said it was hypothetical we'd invade Galilee. Imagine if I said we would definitely do it.
25-Nasrallah: @netanyahu and Eizenkot also gave us a free favor by terrifying settlers in northern Israel of Hezbollah invasion of Galilee.
26-Nasrallah: So they gave us a favor in the realm of psychological warfare by injecting terror into the hearts residents of northern Israel. From Operation Northern Shield on, any time a northern settler hears a hammer strike, they will call the @IDF for help.
27-Nasrallah: @netanyahu and Eizenkot also deceived the Israeli people when they say they discovered, destroyed, sealed all tunnels. Bibi isn't General, but Eizenkot is.
28-Nasrallah: Would any General assume that, in a wide border area, an invading force would squeeze itself into 4 tunnels in a small area?
29-Nasrallah: I admit the enemy's generals are smart, but sometimes their personal interests overcome their intelligence. Many generals on the other side Hezbollah doesn't need tunnels to invade Galilee.
30-Nasrallah: Surely, tunnels would help invasion, but they wouldn't be the sole way Hezbollah would enter Galilee. We would need to use all geographical formations and terrain to enter Galilee.
31-Nasrallah: I don't want anyone thinking we are threatening to invade Israel. I am saying, if Israel starts a war.
32-Nasrallah: The Israelis don't know how we will enter the Galilee - from below the land, from above the land, from meters in the air. In any case, the Israelis have no way of knowing if they discovered all tunnels.
33-Nasrallah: It's in our plan [to invade the Galilee] in case we are forced to defend our country, and we will take any and all defensive procedures to do so.
34-Nasrallah: Yes, it's in our war plan - which we plan and train for - is to invade the Galilee. But that will depend on the course of war, and we may or may not implement the invasion of the Galilee, but we are capable of it.
35-Nasrallah: We've possessed this capability for years, especially after our experience in Syria. As for their wall - which Qur'an told us about 1400 yrs ago that [Jews] will only fight you from behind walls - we have means, which I won't disclose, of getting past their wall.
36-Nasrallah: If the Israelis attack Lebanon, they will regret it. This means they will be forced to never repeat their aggression, because our response will be one that they never expected.
37-Nasrallah: Our [warfare] options are open. The Resistance Axis, on all fronts, says that all options are on the table for war.
38-Nasrallah: We won't allow Israel to change the rules of engagement or to impose rules of engagement upon us. The "resistance" has achieved a certain amount of deterrence that must not only be maintained, but increased, when Israel tries to change these rules.
39-Nasrallah: Wall that Israel building in territory we consider Lebanese isn't changes of rules of engagement.
40-Nasrallah: Regarding borders, I said in 2000 after Israeli withdrawal that Hezbollah wants to liberate Lebanese land. I said then, Lebanese land is whatever the Lebanese state - not just gov't - says is Lebanese land.
41-Nasrallah: At the time, President Lahoud and PM Al-Hoss said Shebaa and Hills of Kafrchouba are Lebanese land. Hezbollah is not concerned with delineating borders. That is the State's prerogative.
42-Nasrallah: When it comes to the border wall Israel is building [on land claimed by Lebanon] we are behind the State and the @Lebarmyofficial and whatever they decide.
43-Nasrallah: What we'll consider a change of the rules of engagement will be a bombing or attack or assassination - assassination of Hezbollah member.
44-Nasrallah: If IDF conducts widespread - even if they don't consider it a war - against a specific goal in Lebanon, we'll consider that a war. Israel could end up in a war by a miscalculation.
45-Nasrallah: Such a miscalculation could be carried out by a PM in crisis over corruption scandals, in order to distract from his legal troubles.
46-Nasrallah: We warn the Israelis that this man, @netanyahu, could carry out many miscalculations between now and Israeli election day in order to save himself, and he's a man that has shown that he will do anything and sacrifice good of country to remain PM and save himself.
47-Nasrallah: If such a miscalculation occurs, Hezbollah and the entire Resistance Axis are ready to respond to any Israeli aggression.
48-Nasrallah: I don't foresee Israel carrying out such a miscalculation in Lebanon, but I see them carrying out such a miscalculation in Syria. Or Gaza as well.
49-Nasrallah: Miscalculation in Gaza means Israel could squeeze Gaza too much, and the people of Gaza could do what they did in the past and more. A military response. A single rocket that hit Ashkelon terrified all of the State of Israel.
50-Nasrallah: This is not analysis or information. Gaza will not tolerate continued aggression.
51-Nasrallah: Israel's Operation Northern Shield did not cancel out our plan to invade the Galilee, it didn't even have a 10% impact on such a plan.
52-Nasrallah: Lebanon was united in confronting Israel's claims about tunnels, and Lebanon's position at the United Nations Security Council was excellent. Kuwait's position was important, and even France took a different position than the US.
53-Nasrallah: Eizenkot left his position humbled and disappointed. Even naming "Northern Shield" an "operation" was deceptive - and many Israeli generals even disagreed regarding calling it an operation.
54-Nasrallah: it would have been deceptive even if they found 20 or 30 tunnels. *laughs* God knows [if there are that many tunnels].
55-Nasrallah: We stand behind the Lebanese army and do not want to drag the country into war. But the state must review the procedures that the Israelis are taking at the border.
56-Nasrallah: We are willing to reengage in discussion on Lebanese National Defense Strategy. But we won't go empty handed, and we won't simply agree to strategy dictating that we surrender our weapons. Is that what they call a National Defense Strategy?
57-Nasrallah: Hezbollah, without preconditions, at any time and any place, is willing to discuss a national defense strategy.
58-Nasrallah: regarding Israel, we should expect heightened rhetoric from the Israelis between now and election day. We should expect unwise behavior from @netanyahu between now and election day.
59-Nasrallah: In 2006, when we said we would strike "after, after Haifa," we meant we'd strike @TelAviv. I'd never threaten to do something Hezbollah couldn't do. In 2006, Hezbollah possessed rockets that could reach Tel Aviv.
60-Nasrallah: After a while, Israel gave up on preventing Hezbollah from acquiring long-range missiles. Now they're hung up on precision missiles.
61-Nasrallah: You saw what happened when one rocket from Gaza hit Ashkelon. Imagine if rockets started falling on @TelAviv. In a future war, all of Occupied Palestine will be struck by our rockets.
62-Nasrallah: As a joke, I tell the Israeli people, your interest is to tell @netanyahu to let Hezbollah acquire precision missiles. In a future war, if we have precision missiles, we will hit only military installations. If we have imprecise missiles, you'll be hit too.
63-Nasrallah: Call this a threat, call it a joke, call it whatever you want.
64-Nasrallah: Of course we possess precision missiles, and with a sufficient number to confront [Israel] in a future war, to strike any target we want in the course of our war plan. This is done, even if they strike in Syria.
65-Nasrallah: I don't want to argue numbers with the Israelis. This matter is finished.
66-Nasrallah: After @netanyahu's speech at UNGA about Hezbollah precision missile factories in Beirut, @Gebran_Bassil took ambassadors/officials on tours of these positions, and there was nothing. Therefore, Netanyahu's information was false/mistaken.
67-Nasrallah: We possess precision missiles in the amount we need, and what we need no longer needs to be transferred [into Lebanon from Syria].
68-Nasrallah: If the Israelis consider our precision-missile arsenal a small number, that's fine. But we possess the amount we need.
69-Nasrallah: In Syria, we can say we are headed towards a great and awesome victory, and we are in the final stages. However, before dealing w/Idlib and northeast of the Euphrates, we can't say Syrian war is over and victory is complete.
70-Nasrallah: However, all threats that emerged in 2011 have been finished. Situation in Syria is the best it has been since the disturbances that began in 2011.
71-Nasrallah: Syrian gov't and state are in a comfortable position. Situation east of Euphrates is now a Kurdish-American-Turkish problem.
72-Nasrallah: Syrian army and leadership, and their allies (i.e. Hezbollah and other Shiite militias) now capable of decisively winning battle in northern Syria.
73-Nasrallah: Kurds, depending on American support, are making impossible demands on the Syrian state. Turks view Syrian Kurds as Syrian version of PKK. Both Kurds/Turks view each other as a threat, and Syrian state is the only solution to this mutual suspicion/threat.
74-Nasrallah: Then @realDonaldTrump announced withdrawal from Syria, frightening Kurds. This led to conflict between to US allies - Turkish army and Turkish-backed opposition forces vs. Syrian Kurdish units, backed by U.S. and funded by Gulf State money.
75-Nasrallah: Solution to this problem is return to 1998 Adana Agreement. Turks are violating this agreement, and want to modify it.
76-Nasrallah: Ergodan and the Kurds can take their time in recommitting to the 1998 Adana Agreement. Syrian leadership is in no rush.
77-Nasrallah: ISIS is almost finished in Boukamal pocket. When ISIS is finished there and east of Euphrates, we'll be more comfortable in Syria, because there is no conflict between Syrian army and Kurds - there's open communication.
78-Nasrallah: We could have ended ISIS last year in Boukamal, but for U.S. intervention, which told the Russians that any forces that would enter the area would be targeted by U.S./coalition forces.
79-Nasrallah: Regarding Idlib, our options are open. We've already finished military preparations for Idlib, but our preference is for a political solution.
80-Nasrallah: Nusra Front's control of Idlib makes political solution complicated, because it is international recognized as a terror group. Solution could be for Nusra to dissolve itself into other Syrian groups, but they're unlikely to accept that.
81-Nasrallah: Because of this, fate of Idlib is unclear. But Syrian leadership unwilling to leave any part of Syria, including Idlib, under control of armed groups, particularly such takfiri groups.
81-Nasrallah: I think @realDonaldTrump is completely serious and honest about withdrawing American forces from Syria. He promised this during his election campaign, and has 2020 election campaigns coming up, and he's fulfilled good part of electoral promises.
82-Nasrallah: during elections, @realDonaldTrump asked why U.S. was spending trillions and shedding its blood in these areas. He had to travel to Iraq secretly and left secretly, which is an admission of American defeat.
83-Nasrallah: @realDonaldTrump is better than @BarackObama. Obama talked about human rights, etc. Trump was blunt - talked about American interests only, allies paying protection money. This was particularly insulting to Saudi Arabia
84-Nasrallah: In my opinion, @realDonaldTrump from day one wanted to pull US troops out of Syria. His advisors convinced him to be patient, because US withdrawal would serve Iran.
85-Nasrallah: @realDonaldTrump announced about 8 months ago that US would withdraw from Syria. Mattis and others lost their mind, because it would be a free victory for Iran. They convinced him to wait 6 months so they could accomplish some kind of victory.
86-Nasrallah: 6 months wasn't officially announced, but @CNN and others revealed that Mattis/others convinced @realDonaldTrump to give them 6-month window to accomplish victory in Syria.
87-Nasrallah: The American price for withdrawal became that US forces would withdraw at same time as Iranian forces and Hezbollah. This was conveyed to Russians. Putin conveyed it to @HassanRouhani, and Rouhani conveyed this to me.
88-Nasrallah: I responded that the Americans will withdraw from Syria whether Iran/its allies withdraw or not. The Iranians rejected the American demand, and Assad also rejected demand for an Iranian withdrawal.
89-Nasrallah: Also, the Russians didn't pressure us or the Iranians to withdraw. They simply conveyed the American message - and did so politely. When we rejected, they accepted and conveyed rejection to the Americans.
90-Nasrallah: When Americans received our rejection, they used their remaining time to focus on defeating ISIS. When 6 months were up, Americans had accomplished nothing.
91-Nasrallah: As for why @realDonaldTrump wants to withdraw? It's because Syria, its people, democracy, don't matter to him. Israel, some groups there and some red lines, matter to him, and Trump thinks he can enforce these red lines without American presence in Syria.
92-Nasrallah: @realDonaldTrump can apply American military pressure in Syria w/o American presence in Syria. They can cary out strikes from Odeid Airbase in Qatar for example. This is a new strategy I call the Trump Version of American projecgt in the Middle East.
93-Nasrallah: So this isn't just a tactical maneuver by Trump. But American withdrawal from Syria is a failure and defeat.
94-Nasrallah: @realDonaldTrump's withdrawal announcement, and declaration that US won't be world police in the region, terrified their allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia.
95-Nasrallah: There were reverberations to this American decision. After @realDonaldTrump announced withdrawal, Kurdish forces came to Beirut to talk to Hezbollah to find a solution w/Syrian regime, and then turned to Russia and Iraq.
96-Nasrallah: American decision for withdrawal also caused an Arab snowball effect of attempting to reconcile with Syrian regime: including visit of Sudanese president to Damascus w/Saudi green light, UAE reopening embassy in Damascus, etc.
97-Nasrallah: Mattis resignation/Syrian withdrawal caused panic in Saudi Arabia and UAE. They convened in Abu Dhabi and outcome was view that Turkey - and not Iran - was prime threat in Syria, they could negotiate w/Assad, and deal w/Russia.
98-Nasrallah: In Saudi/UAE view, Iran - because it is Shiite country - can only have limited influence in Syria. Turkey, which is Sunni, can have more influence. Its victory in Syria would be regional threat because of its alliance w/Muslim Brotherhood.
99-Nasrallah: Saudi/UAE therefore decided they could work w/Assad, and have detente w/Iran, because this is the lesser of two evils compared to Erdogan's regional project and threat it poses to Gulf States.
100-Nasrallah: @SecPompeo and David Hale then toured the region in order to reassure these countries.
101-Nasrallah: However, I tell everyone - and particularly the Israelis - the Americans will not be able to do more than they have already done in this region. They will leave Syria and the entire region. They're even conceding that the Taliban is the gov't in Afghanistan.
102-Nasrallah: @realDonaldTrump will not come to @netanyahu or MBS' rescue. The US are in no position to reinvade the region or wage war. What US wants to do is reassemble regional allies, with their own funds, to place them at the forefront of confrontation w/Iran.
103-Nasrallah: Several high-ranking Arab officials have visited Syria, but I can't reveal their identity.
104-Nasrallah: The Americans failed in Syria, and the most disappointed person from that is @netanyahu.
105-Nasrallah: Syria, even after end of Syrian Civil War, will remain part of "Resistance Axis." Assad has stressed to interlocutors that he will remain by the side of those who supported his country against terrorism, and will be loyal to them.
106-Nasrallah: @netanyahu, who presents himself as victorious on behalf of Israel in various arenas, has failed in Syria, and all of his bets in Syria failed. He should be honest with his people about that.
107-Nasrallah: @netanyahu failed in bet that Assad and Syrian state/army would fall. Netanyahu also failed in enforcing Israel's alleged red-line in Syria: Israel's airstrikes failed to prevent weapons from reaching Hezbollah in Lebanon via Syria.
108-Nasrallah: @netanyahu also failed in pushing Iran out of Syria. So where are his accomplishments?
109-Nasrallah: There remains 1 thing for @netanyahu - to use Israel's military power to expel Iran from Syria. But, at any point decision could be taken by Syria/Iran/Resistance Axis/Hezbollah - I'm not saying it's been taken - to change how to deal w/Israeli airstrikes in Syria.
110-Nasrallah: 1 thing has changed @netanyahu should be aware of - in past, preoccupation of 'Resistance Axis' was decisively ending situation in Syria. Now that's finished. 2nd, Syrian Army is rebuilding itself, 3rd, Syria improving air defenses, 4th, Russia is also a factor
111-Nasrallah: Resistance Axis also comfortable in Iraq, Iran remains strong despite American sanctions, and Hezbollah is comfortable in Lebanon notwithstanding some tensions.
112-Nasrallah: Therefore, the strategic enviromenment has changed in our favor, and @netanyahu should be cognizant of that.
113-Nasrallah: I want to convey 1 thing to @netanyahu - be very cautious in how you deal with Syria and actions you take in Syria. Do not drag the region into war.
114-Nasrallah: If @netanyahu continues along this path, the Resistance Axis - w/Damascus at the forefront - will respond. The Resistance Axis is constantly studying option of response.
115-Nasrallah: Regarding Palestine, the "Deal of the Century" is not frozen, but it has experienced some setbacks. Deal had three prongs: @realDonaldTrump, @netanyahu, and MBS. Deal required important Arab side for legitimacy - MBS, as Saudi crown prince, gave it this legitimacy.
116-Nasrallah: Today, MBS is in a tough situation. He's no longer a pillar upon which to build such an important project. He's in trouble - over Yemen, domestic Saudi situation, and because of @JKhashoggi murder. So Arab support of "Deal of Century" has fallen.
117-Nasrallah: According to my information, Kushner met w/several Arab officials to make up for this - including Egyptians. They all told him that they can't be the Arab pillar, only Saudi Arabia can.
118-Nasrallah: You will also not find any Palestinian, of any political faction, willing to sign a deal that does not include East Jerusalem [as a capital] as a minimum.
119-Nasrallah: Hezbollah's relations with Fatah and Hamas have always been, and remain, excellent. Our relations with the Palestinian Authority are also good. Damascus also has good relations w/them.
120-Nasrallah: The Palestinian Embassy in Iran also belongs to the Palestinian Authority, not to Hamas.
121-Nasrallah: MBS' weakness will also have positive impact [for Hezbollah/Resistance Axis] regarding Yemen and Bahrain.
122-Nasrallah: Saudi Arabia is obstacle to dialogue in Bahrain between gov't and opposition.
123-Nasrallah: Saudi Arabia incapable of continuing its war in Yemen. Even international community tired of it.
124-Nasrallah: Hezbollah's relation w/@General_Aoun is unchanged - in relationship, friendliness, trust, everything we agree on, even the strategic vision. Look at how we deal w/the issue of the tunnels.
125-Nasrallah: We can have disagreements w/Aoun and Free Patriotic Movement. We're not a single party, we're allies, but our alliance remains solid.
126-Nasrallah: David Hale, in one of his meetings in Lebanon, said that disagreements must be created between Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement.
127-Nasrallah: We insist on the formation of a Lebanese gov't in the fastest possible time because this is in Lebanon's interest.
128-Nasrallah: We remain committed to representation of pro-Hezbollah Sunnis in @saadhariri cabinet - and Iran and Syria have nothing to do with this.
129-Nasrallah: We're insisting on representation of pro-Hezbollah Sunnis because it reflects results of parliamentary elections.
130-Nasrallah: Now there are serious efforts to form a government. There remain two large issues: the representation of March 8 Sunnis, and the distribution of portfolios. Remains to be seen whether serious efforts to solve this, which are underway, will succeed.
131-Nasrallah: We are serious about tackling Lebanon's economic situation and combatting corruption. But this is a long and complicated battle.
132-Nasrallah: However, one of the primary obstacles to combatting corruption is the law itself.
133-Nasrallah: We remain committed to open dialogue and cooperation w/@saadhariri. Look at us, we don't attack @Almustaqbal, but they ceaselessly attack us.
134-Nasrallah: Today, we don't control Lebanon, and we don't want that. In a lot of appointments and projects, we have no say or control. If we want to have a say, we could wage a "battle" - like in battle against corruption.
135-Nasrallah: Hezbollah is very cognizant of Lebanon's particular situation, and we believe that Lebanon can only be led by all of its people and different political factions.
136- @AlMayadeenNews's interview w/Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah ends. Interviewer ends w/"until next year."
137-Full video of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah's annual @AlMayadeenNews interview
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