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Nasrallah: Hezbollah ready for "open war"

Feb. 14, 2008 4:06 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 14, 2008 4:06 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah promised to wage an open war against Israel, saying that Israel chose war when it allegedly assassinated Hezbollah's military leader, Imad Mughniya.

Mughniya was killed in a car bombing in the Syrian capital, Damascus on Wednesday. Hezbollah blamed Israel for the attack.

Nasrallah was delivering a eulogy before the burial of Mughniya in the southern suburbs of Beirut, the Lebanese capital. He said that Israel committed a "great folly" when they chose to assassinate Mughniya. He pointed out that the world historians have to start chronicling this date as the beginning of the collapse of the state of Israel.

Nasrallah said that Israel lost the war against Hezbollah in the summer of 2006 considering that the war is still ongoing as no ceasefire has been announced.

With regards to Hezbollah's reaction to the assassination of Mughniya, Nasrallah quoted his own word during the war in 2006 when he addressed the Israelis saying, "If you Zionists choose to fight an open war, you will have an open war." He was hinting to the fact that Hezbollah during the last war started launching missiles at Israeli cities in the north after the Israeli army shelled civilian targets in Lebanon.

This quote may imply that Hezbollah will undertake military action against Israeli targets anywhere as he said, "I remind that you killed Mughniya outside the battle field, and if you Zionists have already chosen an open war, I repeat now, let it be an open war."

Nasrallah reiterated that assassination of resistance leaders such as Mughniya does not weaken resistance. He revealed that as soon as the 2006 war ended, Hezbollah fighters led by Mughniya and others began to prepare for another possible war. He said, "This time, there will not be one Imad Mughniya awaiting you, or thousands of fighters, because Mughniya has almost completed his mission and prepared dozens of well-trained fighters who will fight you, willing to die as martyrs."

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