Hezbollah Leader Accepts U.N. Cease-Fire But Vows to Fight

Published August 12, 2006

| Associated Press

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said Saturday that the Islamic militant group will abide by a U.N. cease-fire resolution but will continue fighting as long as Israeli troops remained in south Lebanon.

Nasrallah grudgingly accepted the cease-fire plan in a televised address as the Lebanese Cabinet was in session to vote on whether to agree to the U.N. resolution. Hezbollah has two ministers in the government.

"We will not be an obstacle to any (government) decision ... but our ministers will express reservations about articles that we consider unjust and unfair," he said.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution seeking a "full cessation" of violence between Israel and Hezbollah on Friday, offering the region its best chance yet for peace after a month of fighting that has killed nearly 900 people and inflamed Mideast tensions.

The resolution, adopted unanimously, authorizes 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers to help Lebanese troops take control of south Lebanon as Israeli forces that have occupied the area withdraw.

The Shiite cleric said Hezbollah rocket strikes on northern Israel would end when Israel stopped airstrikes and other attacks on Lebanese civilians.

Some of the heaviest fighting of the war raged Saturday as Israel sent an avalanche of military power into Lebanon, dispatching thousands of troops and columns of armor into the rocky hills just north of its border.

Nasrallah called continued resistance to the Israel offensive "our natural right" and predicted more hard fighting to come.

"We must not make a mistake, not in the resistance, the government or the people, and believe that the war has ended. The war has not ended. There have been continued strikes and continued casualties," he said.

"Today nothing has changed and it appears tomorrow nothing will change," he said.

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