BEIRUT — Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said Friday that while his “finger cannot vote, what keeps it raised and irritating all the opponents are all of your fingers on May 15,” the date of Lebanon’s parliamentary elections, during a speech broadcast live to audiences of Hezbollah supporters at election rallies in Baalbeck, Machghara and Riyaq.
Here’s what we know:
• Nasrallah began his speech with comments on the “crime committed by the occupation forces” against Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, whom he described as “the martyred witness to Israeli crimes,” saying “the first who should be ashamed are those that have normalized ties [with Israel].” Abu Akleh, a long-time correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, was shot in the head on Thursday by Israeli forces while wearing a vest clearly marked “Press” and standing with a group of other journalists, as she was reporting on Israeli army raids in Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
• Nasrallah drew an analogy between the Bekaa’s “historical place in the resistance” and the “current electoral battle,” recounting a battle in Sultan Yaacoub that impeded the advance of Israeli forces in 1982 and “Israeli retaliation against the resistance through bombardments on the Bekaa,” telling the audience “what they want from you today is what Israel wanted through its bombardments, they want you to abandon the resistance and its weapons. The bombardment is political, economic and financial.”
• The Hezbollah head also attacked political rivals, asking his audience to remember “who cooperated with the enemy and who talks today about sovereignty and independence.” Not only in reference to Israel but also to militant Islamist groups whom “other political powers” were “unable or unwilling” to oppose due to a “preoccupation with the fall of Syria.”
• Nasrallah claimed that his party aimed to achieve “strong presence in the state” in order to solve the country’s developmental problems, adding that everywhere it had been present “performance improved,” citing in particular the performance of “the Health Ministry during [the COVID pandemic],” headed by pro-Hezbollah minister Hamad Hassan.
• Nasrallah also attempted to rebuke opposing parties’ claims against Hezbollah, notably on the issue of its non-state weapons, claiming that the presence of arms “did not prevent electricity reforms, infrastructure development and foreign investment.” The Hezbollah chief redirected the blame towards the US, which he also claimed “knew where every dollar that had been smuggled out of Lebanon went and was able to restore depositors’ funds” but was unwilling to do so “in order to humiliate the Lebanese.”
• Nasrallah’s speech was his third this week ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
BEIRUT — Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said Friday that while his “finger cannot vote, what keeps it raised and irritating all the opponents are all of your fingers on May 15,” the date of Lebanon’s parliamentary elections, during a speech broadcast live to audiences of Hezbollah supporters at election rallies in Baalbeck, Machghara and Riyaq.Here’s what we know: ...