Hizbullah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, spoke on Thursday for the first time since the beginning of the week, saying Hizbullah's entire infrastructure and leadership hierarchy were still intact and functional.
"I can confirm without exaggerating or using psychological warfare, that we have not been harmed," he said, referring to an overnight strike early Thursday in which the IDF dropped 23 tons of explosives on Hizbullah headquarters in Beirut.
Of the two Arab children from Nazareth who were killed by a Katyusha rocket on Wednesday, Nasrallah said they were "martyrs for the Palestinian cause."
The Hizbullah leader offered his condolences to the family of the two brothers in an interview with Al-Jazeera
, which aired only excerpts of the interview, said it was taped earlier Thursday. The interviewer said the interview took place amid tight security precautions but did not say where.
Nasrallah has been in hiding since Israel's assault began July 12, though he gave a speech on Hizbullah television on Sunday.
"Hizbullah has so far stood fast, absorbed the strike and has retaken the initiative and made the surprises that it had promised, and there are more surprises," he said, warning that a Hizbullah defeat would be "a defeat for the entire Islamic nation."
Nasrallah added that, "All of Israel's talk about 50 percent of our infrastructure being damaged is nonsense."
Nasrallah said that, "even if the entire world will demand it," the kidnapped Israeli soldiers would only be released for Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails through negotiations.
He did not offer any information regarding the condition of the soldiers.
Hizbullah operatives arrested in West Bank
Several of those arrested Wednesday in the Mukata in Nablus were found to be linked to Hizbullah, it was released for publication Thursday night.
Members belonging to different terrorist organizations were arrested during a joint IDF and Shin Bet operation.
Suspects included Palestinians responsible for the planning and initiation of terrorist attacks, including those belonging to Hizbullah, who were involved in the murders of Israeli citizens.