Nasrallah Vows 'Graveyard for Israel' if Fighting Continues
JERUSALEM – Hezbollah chief Sheik Hassan Nasrallah warned that southern Lebanon will become a "graveyard" if Israel continues its attacks and attempts to occupy the region.
"You won't be able to stay in our land, and if you come in, we'll force you out, we will turn our precious southern land into a graveyard for the occupying Zionists," Nasrallah said, speaking on al-Manar television, the official Hezbollah broadcast station.
Nasrallah also warned all Arabs to leave the Israeli port city of Haifa so the guerrilla organization could step up attacks without fear of shedding the blood of fellow Muslims.
"I have a special message to the Arabs of Haifa, to your martyrs and to your wounded. I call you to leave this city. I hope you do this. ... Please leave so we don't shed your blood, which is our blood," he said in a taped television address carried on virtually all major television channels in the region.
In an about face, the Hezbollah leader said he now welcomes Lebanon's offer to send 15,000 soldiers to the Israeli border.
"If the government is ready to send the 15,000 soldiers to go through this region, this will help Lebanon and the friends of Lebanon," the radical Shiite cleric said. "This will put some pressure to amend the draft resolution and will open the way to stop the aggression against Lebanon."
It was his first comment and part of wide-ranging and deeply-negative assessment of the draft resolution being debated by the United Nations Security Council. The proposal seeks to halt fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. (Full story)
"The least we can describe this (draft resolution) is as unfair and unjust," he said. "It has given Israel more than it wanted and more than it was looking for."
Nasrallah then refuted claims made by Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that the "resistance wasn't able to do anything."
"The resistance responded with 350 rockets," Nasrallah boasted, followed by a threat to Israeli fighters: "If you're going to stay in our land, we're going to kick you from our land."
Nasrallah, however, said Hezbollah was solidly behind a Lebanese government plan to deploy 15,000 soldiers in south Lebanon once a cease-fire is reached and Israel withdraws its forces.
"In the past we used to oppose or not agree on deployment of the army at the borders," the Hezbollah leader said. Now, he said, "we agree on deployment of the army."
He said before when he did not want the troops deployed it was not because he was afraid of them, but because he was afraid for them.
"Putting a national army on the border is putting the army in the mouths of the dragon. It doesn’t have air cover or sufficient artillery, so it could be destroyed easily," Nasrallah said.
He then accused Israel of weak military tactics because Lebanon has suffered a higher number of civilian casualties than Israel.
"We are waiting for you in the battle field. ... You are cowards. You kill our women, our children, our buildings. But we kill your officers and your tanks."
FOX News' Cassie Carothers and The Associated Press contributed to this report.