Nasrallah said Hezbollah was ready to fight
Israel on a larger battlefield [AFP]

Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of Hezbollah, has said his organisation is prepared to expand its sphere of operations against Israel.

He made the declaration after he accused the Jewish state of assassinating Imad Moghaniyah, a senior Hezbollah commander, in Syria's capital Damascus.

Nasrallah made his statement via a video link to thousands of Hezbollah supporters who massed in southern Beirut on February 14 to mourn Moghaniyah's death.

His speech included the following excerpts :

Since he [Imad Moghaniyah] was a young man he used to create victories and he prayed that one day he would join the martyrs' list. And he finally got his wish.

My deepest condolences to his family; his parents, his wife, his children and all his brothers in the resistance in Lebanon, Palestine and all over the world.

Let the world know that this family has sacrificed all its sons in the name of jihad [struggle]. I congratulate this family and all our brothers in the resistance for today their brother has granted the great God-given fate of martyrdom.
 
This assassination did not surprise us ... This was expected for 25 years ... we all expect this end for we are all students in the school of martyrdom.
 
We are fighting a real war against Israel and America and whoever stands behind them.

***

The Zionists see in his assassination a success and we see in it an upcoming victory. Let us go back in time.

What happened when they assassinated Sheikh Ragheb Harb [a Hezbollah leader who was killed in February 1984]? They killed him and later on were forced to withdraw from Lebanese occupied territories because of the resistance they faced in his name.

Today I tell Israel that in the next war they will not face one Imad Moghniyeh with a few thousand other fighters, they will face tens of thousands like Imad Moghaniyah

And what happened with Abbas Al-Mussawi [a secretary-general of Hezbollah who was killed in February 1992]? They assassinated him and thought that, through him, they will break Hezbollah.

On the contrary, that made us stronger and Israel had to withdraw after it was defeated in his name by Hezbollah.

The July war that Imad fought has not stopped yet... Let this go down in history on my tongue: the blood of Imad Moghaniyah will mark the end of the state of Israel. We will wipe them from existence.

I am not saying this as a tool to excite the crowds. Let us recapture what Ben-Gurion said - he said that Israel will fall after it loses the first war. And Israel fought its war in 2006. Zionists called it the sixth war, but most of their leaders called it the first war.

Why did they fail despite what they say about having the strongest army and the best artillery? It is because in Lebanon they were fought by Imad Moghaniyah and his brothers and students.

Israel lost its first war. And Israel will fall just like Israel's mentor and the creator of the state of Israel promised them. Hezbollah will amputate this cancer that is rooted in our umma [Islamic community or nation].

***

The enemy will realise that he has committed a stupid mistake. Today, I tell our friends and enemy that despite our grave loss of Imad, Hezbollah's lines were not hit because the ideology of Hezbollah is not based on one leader.

Moghaniyah was killed in a car-bomb blast
in Syria's capital Damascus [AFP]
The brothers of Imad will follow on his steps and will convey his message. [Israel does] not know what the blood of such men does to their brothers.

[It does not] know that it makes us stronger and motivates us to fight. [It does not] know that Hajj Imad had already completed his work with his brothers in Hezbollah and today as he leaves us a martyr.

There is not much left for us to do. Since the end of the war, when the people started returning, our fighters started preparing for the next war. Today Hezbollah and the Islamic movement are completely ready for any aggression on Lebanon.

In the past, I spoke about our missile capabilities, but today I will speak of the men, as between our hands lays their leader.

Today I tell Israel that in the next war they will not face one Imad Moghaniyah with a few thousand other fighters, they will face tens of thousands like Imad Moghaniyah.

***

Israel assassinated Imad in Damascus. To Israel: you killed Imad outside the usual borders. Our battles with you were always within the borders and on our land.

But today you [Israel] crossed the borders. During the 2006 war I said to the world that if you want it an open war, so shall it be.

Today I say one thing in the face of this assassination, this manner and this timing: "If you want this kind of open war, so shall it be."

We have the right to protect our people and our country and we will do so through all means possible.

***

Today marks the martyrdom of Rafiq al-Hariri [a former Lebanese prime minister]. We would have liked for this to be an event where the two sides meet, but unfortunately it was turned into a party of insults.

I will refrain from replying to insults in honour of our martyrs, but I will say this: the Lebanon that we sacrificed our best leaders, families and children for, this Lebanon will not be Israeli or American ... This Lebanon will not be divided.

And those who speak of divorce must leave this house. This Lebanon will remain a country of national unity, dignity, sovereignty and integrity.

My brothers, let us pray together for our brother [Imad Moghaniyah] and renew our promise to him that we will continue our resistance until we achieve the ultimate victory no matter how big our sacrifices have to be.

Source: Al Jazeera