Nasrallah: Israel murdered Hariri

Foreign Ministry dismisses Nasrallah claims as "ridiculous lies."

Nasrallah (photo credit: AP)
(photo credit: AP)
In a much-anticipated televised speech, Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah on Monday night presented what he called proof that Israel was behind the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.
The Foreign Ministry dismissed Nasrallah's comments as "ridiculous lies" in a statement Tuesday.
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“Since September 13, 1993, the date of the signing of the Oslo accords, Israel made up stories to convince former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri that Hizbullah planned to kill him,” Nasrallah said, according to a Walla news report of his speech.Nasrallah said he spoke to Syrian President Bashar Assad a couple of weeks before Hariri’s assassination, and that Assad told him – according to Western sources – that the world wanted to see Syrian troops leave Lebanon.
“That is the reason Israel killed Hariri,” Nasrallah said.
“Israel wanted to get Syria out of Lebanon.”
As proof of his theory, Nasrallah produced a tape of a man named Ahmed Nasrallah, who had been arrested in 1996 for allegedly spying for Israel. “I met someone who worked with Rafik Hariri and I told him that Hizbullah wants to kill him (Hariri),” the man was heard saying in the tape, referring to an apparent attempt to turn Hariri against Hizbullah.
The Hizbullah chief, according to Walla, said the alleged spy escaped to “occupied Palestine” and was still there, allegedly enlisting Lebanese to collaborate with Israel.
Nasrallah’s speech comes amid growing expectations that the international tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination will hold Hizbullah culpable.
A senior Israeli official dismissed Nasrallah’s charges as laughable.
“The international community, the Arab world and most importantly the people of Lebanon all know that these accusations against Israel are simply ridiculous and stem from Nasrallah’s own fears that the investigation will point to his organization,” the official said.
In the same speech Nasrallah mentioned a 1997 incident in which 12 IDF naval commando soldiers were killed on a secret mission in Lebanon.
He said that Hizbullah knew that the IDF ships were approaching, and set up a trap for them.
"We assumed that Israel was going to act. Our people waited a few weeks, and on one of the nights, the commando soldiers came...and fell into the trap that we prepared," Nasrallah said. He presented photographs taken from an unmanned IAF aircraft, which Hizbullah obtained before attacking the commando.