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Nasrallah: Gaza violence a test for 'Arab Spring'
By JPOST.COM STAFF
12/11/2012
Hezbollah chief lauds drone launch last month as proof of the Lebanese group's deterrence capabilities.
 
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Monday described the wave of violence in the Gaza Strip as a test for the "Arab Spring nations."

Nasrallah was quoted by Lebanese news site Naharnet as saying Egypt, Libya and Tunisia would have to choose how they respond to fighting between the IDF and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Nasrallah also described Hezbollah's unmanned aerial vehicle, shot down by Israel last month, as part of the group's deterrence strategy. "We have reached a point where we forced the enemy (Israel) to acknowledge the deterrence force created by the Resistance (Hezbollah) in Lebanon," according to the report.

That Israel did nothing after Hezbollah claimed responsibility for sending the drone deep into Israeli territory was proof of that deterrence, Nasrallah asserted.

At the time, Nasrallah took credit for sending the drone aircraft into Israel, saying in a televised speech on Hezbollah's Al-Manar television station that the UAV was Iranian-made and that it was shot down near the Dimona reactor.

"The drone flew over sensitive installations inside southern Palestine,” he said.

Nasrallah claimed the Ayoub drone was designed and manufactured in Iran and assembled in Lebanon, denying reports that the drone was a Russian design.

The Hezbollah leader said the drone was sent as a response to what he referred to as Israel's violations of Lebanese airspace since 2006.

"This flight was not our first will not be our last, and we give assurances we can reach any point we want. We have the right to dispatch recon planes over occupied Palestine at any time," Nasrallah said.

Also in early October, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel would “act with determination to defend its borders at sea, on air and land” just as it had “thwarted Hezbollah’s attempt over the weekend,” to send an unmanned aircraft into Israeli airspace.

Gil Hoffman and Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.
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