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Hezbollah leader vows 'open war'
by BBC (reposted)
Friday Jul 14th, 2006 9:21 PM
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has promised "open war" against Israel, in an address broadcast shortly after his Beirut offices were bombed by Israel.
The militant group said its leader was unhurt in the attack. It was not clear when his remarks were recorded.

Israel is demanding Hezbollah free two Israeli soldiers. More than 60 Lebanese have been killed in the offensive.

Meanwhile Israel says four soldiers are missing after a naval ship was damaged by a Hezbollah explosive drone.

It is thought to be the first time Hezbollah has used such a weapon.

The ship has now been towed back to Haifa and a search is continuing for the missing men.

Israel says a Hezbollah rocket aimed at one of its ships early on Saturday missed, and hit a civilian ship instead.

'War on every level'

In his address on Hezbollah's TV channel in Lebanon, Sheikh Nasrallah referred to an Israeli warship he said had launched attacks from of the coast of Lebanon, saying: "Look at the warship that has attacked Beirut, while it burns and sinks before your very eyes."

by ALJ
Friday Jul 14th, 2006 9:22 PM
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the chief of Hezbollah group, has pledged open war on Israel after it bombed his Beirut home on Friday in a dramatic expansion of the latest Israeli assault.

"You wanted an open war. You will get an open war," Nasrallah said in a telephone message broadcast live on Hezbollah television after the attack.

He said an Israeli navy ship was ablaze off the coast of Beirut.

The Israeli military confirmed that the vessel had been badly damaged and that four Israeli troops were missing at sea.

Israeli media reported that the ship was hit by an unmanned airborne drone packed with explosives.

The army had said earlier that the attack from the shore had caused only light damage.

"Look at it burn," Nasrallah declared in his address. "It will sink and along with it dozens of Zionist soldiers."

Celebratory gunfire erupted in the Lebanese capital and drivers honked their horns after Nasrallah's speech.

The Syrian- and Iranian-backed Islamist group, which wants to trade its captives for prisoners held in Israel, fired more rockets across the frontier, killing an Israeli woman and child.

Israeli air strikes destroyed Nasrallah's apartment building and a main Hezbollah office in southern Beirut. Hezbollah said Nasrallah and his family and bodyguards were safe.

An Israeli army spokeswoman would not say if the intention had been to kill Nasrallah. "We targeted the headquarters of Hezbollah in southern Beirut. We attacked two structures that are used by the leadership of Hezbollah," she said.

Syria backs Hezbollah

Meanwhile, Syria has said it will support its allies Hezbollah and Lebanon against Israel's attacks on the country.

by Daily Star (reposted)
Friday Jul 14th, 2006 9:26 PM
BEIRUT: Hizbullah's secretary general Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned late Friday that his group was ready for "an open war" against Israel, while announcing that resistance fighters had set fire to an Israeli warship off the coast of Beirut. Nasrallah's statement came amid heavy attacks as Israel pounded Lebanon for the third straight day Friday, targeting Hizbullah's power base and killing 15 civilians, raising the death toll since the start of the siege to more than 70 people.

In his first public statement since Israel laid siege to Lebanon on Wednesday, Nasrallah said: "You want an open war. We are going to open war. We are ready for it"

Speaking to Al-Manar TV by telephone, Nasrallah warned: "You have chosen war against people who have brains, capacities and expertise. The surprises that I have promised you will start now.

"Look into the middle of the sea, facing Beirut, the Israeli warship that has pounded the infrastructure, people's homes and civilians - look at it burning. It will sink and with it will sink scores of Israeli Zionist soldiers. This is just the beginning," he added.

An Israeli military spokesman admitted that an Israeli naval ship had been hit in Lebanese waters, apparently by a rocket. The spokesman said the damage was not serious and that there were no casualties.

Nasrallah also warned of additional attacks in Israel.

"We will not say that we will bomb Haifa, we will go beyond and beyond Haifa," he added.

"Our homes will not be the only ones to be destroyed, our children will not be the only ones to die ... Those days are over I promise you. You [Israelis] must take responsibility for what your government has done," he said.

by UK Guardian (reposted)
Friday Jul 14th, 2006 9:35 PM
Hizbullah threatened "open war" last night as Israel ramped up its attacks on Lebanon, bombing roads and bridges in the centre of Beirut and warning that its fight would last until the militant group was destroyed.

Israeli politicians and army officers brushed aside international criticism and said their goal was to force Hizbullah's disarmament. So far at least 73 people, nearly all civilians, have been killed in Lebanon since the bombing began three days ago.

In response, Hizbullah's chief, Hassan Nasrallah, threatened "open war" against Israel, hinting at rocket attacks deep inside the country. He made his threat shortly after he survived an air raid on his home that appeared to be an assassination attempt. "You wanted an open war and we are ready for an open war," he said in a taped statement.

Last night an Israeli naval vessel, 10 miles off the coast of Beirut, was badly damaged when it was hit by an unmanned Hizbullah aircraft packed with explosives. Four sailors were reported missing after a blaze on board. The vessel was last night being towed back to Israel .

Hizbullah's al-Manar TV reported that guerrillas had targeted the warship after it fired missiles into south Beirut. "Now in the middle of the sea, facing Beirut, the Israeli warship that has attacked the infrastructure, people's homes and civilians - look at it burning," Mr Nasrallah said.

by BBC (reposted)
Saturday Jul 15th, 2006 11:21 AM
More than 60 people have been killed in Lebanon since Israel launched its offensive four days ago, sparked by the capture of two of their soldiers by the Hezbollah movement. Militants in Lebanon continue to fire rockets across the border into Israel.

Even to my untrained eye, a Katyusha rocket is a world apart from a Qassam.

A Russian journalist fished the broken tail of one, rather sheepishly, from the boot of his car, when I wondered aloud if any of the bangs and whimpers all around us were actually caused by incoming fire.

"We found it over there..." he admitted, nodding at a wooded hillside.

The Qassams regularly fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza at Israeli towns have inflicted some casualties, but are crude, blunt instruments - rusty iron pipes welded together with engines and fins in secret workshops in Gaza.

What was left of this Katyusha betrayed a sleek, professional weapon - slimmer, steelier, more lethal than its homemade brother.

The Qassams mostly needle the Israelis, like pinpricks in the ankles of a giant, taunting him to stamp back with his big, US-issue army boots.