debkafile Exclusive: Hassan Nasrallah’s apologetic speech Sunday night contrasts starkly with his rapid rearmament of Hizballah’s war machine
Hizballah’s leader said in a broadcast speech Sunday night that he would not have ordered the kidnap of two Israeli soldiers had he know it would lead to war.
debkafile reveals the other side of the picture: While saying mildly that in his view a second round of the war is not indicated, Nasrallah has just finished reconstituting his Southern Nasser Brigade command (short range Katyusha rockets) in the port town of Tyre after collecting its elements form various south Lebanese villages to the east. His fighters reached Tyre at the same time as French UNIFIL troops landed in the same port but were not noticed by the TV cameras focusing on the French landings.
debkafile‘s Beirut sources report Nasrallah goes in fear of an Israeli attempt on his life. Hizballah’s re-armament is therefore proceeding cautiously, rapidly and inconspicuously. For the same reason, he appears to be avoiding a meeting with the UN secretary Kofi Annan who is due in Beirut this week. The local UN office is trying to set up this meeting because Annan would regard as a major feat of diplomacy. However Nasrallah is afraid its venue would leak out and Israeli warplanes would find him.
Similarly, he has called off a victory parade he had planned to stage next week in the southern Beirut Shiite suburb of Dahya among the ruins left by Israeli air strikes. Nasrallah had planned to stand on a platform and take the salute of his armed men as they marched past with Fajer-3 and Fajer-5 rockets. This would have shown the Israelis that Hizballah’s rocket might was still intact after their bombardment. But an intelligence tip-off that the Israeli air force and navy were waiting to bomb the parade persuaded him to cancel the event.