Ministers call to kill Nasrallah

Barak calls on colleagues to 'relax,' accuses Hizbullah leader of practicing psychological warfare.

Nasrallah Ashoura 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Nasrallah Ashoura 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Calls to "eliminate" Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah at Sunday's cabinet meeting, following Nasrallah's declaration Saturday that Hizbullah held the body parts of some IDF soldiers killed in Lebanon, were rebuffed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Hassan Nasrallah should be eliminated, Religious Services Minister Yitzhak Cohen (Shas) said at the cabinet meeting. "Why is he walking around freely?" Barak replied that he remembers that when he was chief of general staff the IDF did eliminate a Hizbullah leader, Abbas al-Musawi, who was killed by the IDF in 1992. Barak said his deputy was a lot worse. Musawi's deputy was Nasrallah. Barak, who called on the ministers to "relax," said Israel paid too much public attention to the Hizbullah leader's pronouncements, and by doing so strengthened his position. He said Nasrallah was waging psychological warfare against Israel. Before the cabinet meeting, Cohen called Nasrallah a "crazy man" and said it was beyond him why he "was still breathing." "A person like him should a long time ago have joined those whom Israel decided was a dangerous enemy, and eliminated," Cohen told reporters before the cabinet meeting. "And the sooner the better. The fact that he left his hiding place shows he feels good, and I will recommend to the government to take a decision in the security cabinet to eliminate him." Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit (Kadima) said there was no reason to be frightened by Nasrallah's comments, give into them or enter into negotiations with him over a return of the soldiers' remains he claims to hold. "We need to eliminate him," he said. Housing and Construction Minister Ze'ev Boim called Nasrallah a "sewer rat who should hide in his hole. We need to make sure that he doesn't see the light of day." Nasrallah appeared in public on Saturday for the first time since September 2006, warning Israel against attacking Lebanon and claiming that Hizbullah has a near-complete body of an IDF soldier killed during the Second Lebanon War, as well as the body parts of other soldiers. While the IDF has accounted for all of the bodies of the 119 soldiers killed in the Second Lebanon War, officials said it was possible that small body parts had not been found during the evacuations that took place from within Lebanon under enemy fire. Sources in Jerusalem said Sunday morning those families of the bereaved in Israel were completely updated on the conditions of their lost relatives prior to burial, and that all fallen soldiers were buried in accordance with Jewish law. Coincidentally, Israel returned to Lebanon in 1998 the body of Nasrallah's son, Hadi, along with some 40 other Hizbullah bodies and 60 prisoners, in exchange for the remains of one of 12 naval commandos killed in a Hizbullah ambush in Lebanon in 1997.