BEIRUT (AFP) – The Shiite militant group Hezbollah increased its rhetoric against Israel, slamming a UN resolution that Syrian troops leave Lebanon after a recent flare-up of unrest on the Israel-Lebanon border.
“Resolution 1559 stipulates that the resistance disarm by dissolving Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, and that Syrian forces withdraw from Lebanon, which Israel wants,” said Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.
“Through international political and psychological pressure and through threats, 1559 sets out to hand Israel what it has been powerless to achieve through its army.”
Nasrallah called the resolution, passed last September, “an Israeli demand one hundred percent”.
“While Israeli threats and aggression continue… Lebanon needs the resistance as well as the two Lebanese and Syrian armies.”
Earlier this month, three people, including a French UN peacekeeper, were killed in a flare-up of violence between Israeli troops and Hezbollah along the border between Lebanon and Israel, which remain technically at war.
On Friday, he called for a referendum in Lebanon on the future of Syria’s large troop presence in Lebanon.
Both Lebanon and Syria have so far rejected the resolution, which demands that Beirut exercise its sovereignty throughout its territory and disarm militia groups, including Hezbollah, as well send home foreign troops.
The resolution was co-sponsored by the United States and France.