News

February 1997 INFORMATION ON HIZBULLAH INCLUDING SOME RELEVANT STATEMENTS =========================================================== A. Statements by Secretary-General of Hizbullah. "The Struggle is over the Occupied Territory of `Palestine,' the Golan and South Lebanon" At a ceremony organized by Hizbullah for "Jerusalem Day" (Feb. 7), the organization's secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah, called on all Arabs and Moslems to proclaim that Jerusalem is Arab-Islamic land and not the capital of Israel, nor even the joint capital of two countries as the Chairman of the "Palestine Authority," Arafat, claims. Nasrallah called on the Palestinian people to renew the intifada and act to eliminate Arafat, as Sadat had been eliminated, and he promised that the fighters of his organization are standing by the Palestinians and will not abandon them. He added that Hizbullah regards "Jerusalem Day" as a symbol of the struggle for the entire honored territory of "Palestine." B. "Jerusalem Day" events conducted by Hizbullah on Feb. 7 Calls to destroy Israel. A report by Radio Nur (Feb. 7) in Lebanon to participants in demonstrations and parades organized by Hizbullah for "Jerusalem Day," said: "... The Jihad units are trampling on the American and Israeli flags and the fighters are parading. The special units have set up a model of Jerusalem, with the Hizbullah and Islamic flags over it. Heading the ceremony on the main dais is Ali Abbas. Jihad units appear in green and black clothing -- the suicide platoons named after the martyr Abbas Mussawi are now marching past... The suicide companies are passing as we hear calls to destroy Israel... The unit named after the martyrs Fat'hi Sh'kaki and Yiyhe Ayyash, belonging to the Jerusalem Brigade, are passing now. The company of the martyrs of the suicide attacks at Marj'ayoun is marching by..." C. A member of the Hizbullah Political Council describes the scope of the struggle. A member of Hizbullah's Political Council, the former member of parliament Ali Tah, gave a lecture on "The Unity of the Monotheistic Religions" (Voice of Islam Radio, Jan. 26). He said, "We do not oppose the Jews, but are against Jewish racism and Jewish Zionism. I call on all believers in monotheistic religions to join the `Resistance' because the struggle is everyone's. According to the strategy of the `Resistance,' the existence of the racist `Zionist entity' must be annulled, as [Iranian Ayatollah] Khomeini and [Iranian spiritual leader] Ali Khamenhei said." Ali Tah added that the struggle now being waged by the "Resistance" against the Jews and Zionists is one of existence, and not as some of them claim a struggle over borders. D. A call to physically eliminate the Palestinian leadership. The Hizbullah secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah, said at the central ceremony for "Jerusalem Day" (Radio Nur, Feb. 7): "Last year, we said at this place that we believe in the Palestinian people and its spirit of Jihad, and a short while after that there occurred the wonderful actions by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv." Nasrallah called on the Palestinian people on that occasion to overthrow its leadership and execute them. He said that what is needed now is a Palestinian Khaled Islanbuli [Sadat's assassin] in order that those who betrayed Palestine and Jerusalem should pay a heavy price. Nasrallah called on the Palestinian people to escalate the Jihad and renew the intifada. E. Iranian assistance via Damascus. According to the "Intelligence Newsletter" (published in France, edition of Jan. 16), each month between three and five shipments of weapons for Hizbullah are flown into Damascus by Iranian cargo planes. The military supplies include Sagger missiles, long-range Katyusha rockets, very powerful anti-tank mines, and night-vision sights for rifles. According to the publication, the "Supreme Iranian Council for National Security" (which is the senior political and military body in Iran) decided to substantially increase the financial and military aid it gives to Hizbullah, from $80-million in 1996 to $100-million in 1997. According to this report, the Hizbullah secretary-general took part in meetings of the council at the beginning of December 1996, following the decision in April 1996 to increase the aid to Hizbullah, after the "Grapes of Wrath" action in South Lebanon. Hizbullah sources say a special runway was prepared at Damascus airport to deal with the increased Iranian military shipments. F. Hizbullah fighters are assigned to join Syrian fighters and residents of the Bek'aa Valley. In a "Newsweek" survey (Feb. 3), military commentators claimed the Bek'aa Valley is the ideal area for Israel to sever Lebanon from Syria. It appears that in order to ensure this will not happen, Syria lately relocated tanks and artillery to the valley, to reinforce the units deployed there, which are estimated to number about 20,000 men. The Hizbullah organization has cautiously deployed its fighters and stores of weapons and its safe houses among units of Syrian soldiers and Bek'aa residents. By reorganizing and re-distributing units of 10 men and placing them in populated areas, the guerilla fighters have so far prevented Israel from carrying out air bombardments against them. Nevertheless, the guerilla fighters say that a wide-scale Israeli attack is exactly what they want: Hizbullah would like nothing better than to provoke the Israelis into violating the [ceasefire] agreement. G. Syrian-Iranian coordination in connection with Hizbullah activity. A political source in Teheran told "Al-Hayat" (Jan. 21) that the recent visit of Syrian Vice-President Khaddam to Iran had brought about an agreement regarding the viewpoints of the two countries vis-a-vis the situation of Hizbullah in Lebanon and its political and military future. The source said that Khaddam emphasized that Hizbullah would not disarm as long as the Israeli occupation in Lebanon continues. His words came in response to a claim by Iranian President Rafsanjani that he had heard from the Russian foreign Minister that Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri had promised, when he visited the U.S. in December 1996, that Hizbullah would be disarmed. Khaddam stressed Syria's stand which contends that the struggle is a legitimate right as long as Israel occupies Lebanese land. At the same time, Khaddam clarified (according to the source) that Hizbullah's weapons would be laid down when the occupation is over, and Hizbullah will enjoy the status of a political party friendly to Syria. . ===================================================================== Information Division, Israel Foreign Ministry - Jerusalem Mail all Queries to [email protected] URL: http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il gopher://israel-info.gov.il =====================================================================