The Lebanese Shiite militia group Hezbollah claims to have kept the body parts of Israeli soldiers left on the battlefield during the Israeli-Hezbollah war in 2006, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said during a weekend speech, Reuters reported Sunday.
Nasrallah, speaking before hundreds of thousands of Shiites in Beirut to mark the Muslim holiday of Ashoura, said Hezbollah fighters had collected the heads, hands, legs and other body parts of downed Israeli soldiers — including a cadaver cut off at the torso — that he claimed Israel abandoned on the battlefield during the 34-day conflict during which 1,200 Lebanese and 157 Israelis were killed.
"Our mujahedeen used to fight these Zionists, killing them and collecting their body parts," Nasrallah said, according to the report. "I am not talking about regular body parts. I tell the Israelis, we have the heads of your soldiers, we have hands, we have legs," he said.
Hezbollah, backed by Syria and Iran, does not recognize Israel. According to the report, Nasrallah's remarks were aimed at increasing pressure on Israel to expedite a prisoner swap negotiation being mediated by the U.N.
In October, Israel handed over a Hezbollah prisoner and the remains of two others in exchange for the remains of an Israeli civilian under a deal brokered by the U.N.
The 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah erupted after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid.