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Nasrallah responds to the Egyptian accusations

April 11, 2009

Last night in a televised address on al-Manar Hasan Nasrallah responded to the accusations of the Egyptian General Prosecutor that Hezbollah operatives were plotting attacks and subversive activities on Egyptian territory.  A quote from al-Akhbar:

وعلّق قائلاً: «نحن نحكي الأمور بوضوح وبمسؤولية، والذي نقوم به لا نستحي به ولا لحظة، لذلك أقول، أولاً إن الأخ سامي هو عضو في حزب الله ونحن لسنا ناكرين هذا الموضوع ولا مستحين فيه. ثانياً، إن ما كان يقوم به على الحدود المصرية الفلسطينية هو عمل لوجستي لمساعدة الإخوة الفلسطينيين في نقل عتاد وأفراد لمصلحة المقاومة في داخل فلسطين. وهذه هي المسألة الصحيحة الوحيدة التي لم ترد في الاتهامات، مع العلم بأنني قرأت الوقائع».

He commented, “We tell the matters clearly and with responsibility.  What we we do does not embarass us, not even for a moment.  Thus I’ll say first, brother Sami he is a member in Hezbollah and we are not denying this matter and we are not ashamed of it.  Second, what we were doing on the Egyptian-Palestinian border were logistic activities to help the Palestinian brothers in trasnporting equipment and individuals for the interest of the resistance within Palestine.  This is the only correct thing that it did not respond to in the accusations, with the knoweldge that I read the facts.”

Nasrallah admitted that the Lebanese, Sami Shihab, who was apprehended in November 2008 is indeed a member of Hezbollah, but was merely smuggling weapons and military equipment to Hamas in Gaza.  Nasrallah denied that there is any “branch” of Hezbollah in Egypt or any other Arab country.  As I mentioned in my first post on the issue, the dispute ought to be read within the context of the Gaza War and Nasrallah’s condemnation of Mubarak’s refusal to open the Rafah border crossing.   For now it’s Nasrallah’s word against the Egyptian General Prosecutor’s.

On a final note, even if Nasrallah was completely honest in yesterday’s address, Hezbollah nonetheless displayed a complete disregard for Egyptian sovereignty.  While it may not have formal cells in Arab countries, the Party of God was clearly organizing weapons smuggling across Egyptian territory.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sasa 04.11.09 at 19:36

Egypt lost its right to assert its sovereignty when it breached international law by trapping Palestinians inside Gaza during the Israeli attacks. It’s no different to Serbia or Rwanda in the 1990s.

Roqayah 04.18.09 at 03:08

I completely agree with ‘Sasa’ when it comes to this issue.
Why is it that Hassan Nasrallah is looked down upon for pushing an attempt to help the people of Palestine while Egypt is praised for helping kill them?
The hypocrisy is insane.
Right winged Arab’s (or anyone for that matter) who would rather sit at the corrupted table of so-called ‘diplomacy’ than fight (physically or otherwise) against the oppressors who have been causing strife,genocide and struggle in the region since even before 1948.
Mubarak and his cronies are the new Phar3un’s of today and those who stand beside them or sit and idle in the middle are just as pathetic as they.

The principle of self-determination provides that where forcible action has been taken to suppress the right, force may be used in order to counter this and achieve self-determination.

Every man,woman and child has the right to fight terrorism, oppression and occupation – no matter what race,gender,religion or creed.
And this is documented in all facets of international law.

Salam.

al 04.18.09 at 04:14

Underlying both of the above comments is the assumption that sovereignty is not inviolable and I agree. In my view, sovereignty is a sustained relationship between a government, the people represented/ruled by the government, and other states. If a government fails to uphold its basic responsibilities to its people then, in some cases, another state(s) may be justified in intervening. Rwanda is a clear example where this would have been appropriate.

However, Sasa, I don’t really see the argument for why Egypt is/was obligated to completely open its border with Gaza, as Nasrallah called for. Gaza unfortunately is not a sovereign entity nor clearly under occupation (based on the Fourth Geneva Convention and Hague Conventions). Though most international organizations do continue to view Israel as an occupying power in Gaza, a reading of the two aforementioned pieces of international law suggests it is not so clear cut. Even if we accept that Israel is an occupying power in Gaza then Israel, not Egypt, is responsible for the well being of Gazans. So I’m really not sure what Egypt’s responsibilities to Gaza and its residents are. Egypt says that it will normalize Rafah when the Palestinian Authority assumes control of border crossings. The ambiguity of sovereignty of Gaza, where the PA is the de jure authority, but Hamas is the de facto authority of a piece of land that never has been a sovereign state but probably, along with the West Bank, ought to be, makes it difficult to apply international jurisprudence and its limited categories of state and occupied territory.

Roqayah, Mubarak and the NDP are Phar3un. They are corrupt autocrats who ideally would fall into the Mediterranean and be replaced by responsible elected officials. But what does Nasrallah and the Party of God have to do with self-determination for Egyptians? Hezbollah’s alleged interference in Egypt is not on behalf of Egyptian’s self determination, but rather pushing its own agenda and acting on behalf of Hamas/Palestinians in Gaza. I don’t really see how Egyptians themselves stand to benefit from Hezbollah smuggling weapons across their territory or (according to the allegations of the Egyptian General Prosecutor) carrying out attacks on Israeli tourists. If you meant that Nasrallah is standing up for self-determination of Gazans then I still don’t see why he has the right to smuggle weapons across Egyptian soil.

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