Qassem to Al Mayadeen: Israelis Surprised by the Timing of "Jerusalem Sword" Battle
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem confirms, in an interview for Al Mayadeen, that the Resistance "achieved a balance of power that has protected Lebanon from any Israeli aggression for 15 years."
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem confirmed, in an interview for Al Mayadeen on Thursday, that the July war "marked a turning point for the Israelis towards the abyss after they themselves admitted that they have failed to accomplish their goals."
Sheikh Qassem added, "We established a balance of power that has protected Lebanon from any Israeli aggression for the last 15 years, in fear of Hezbollah's reaction."
When talking about the "Sword of Jerusalem" Battle, he considered that "Al-Quds is closer than ever" this year. He added, "The Palestinians' initiative to simultaneously carry out both offensive and defensive jihad to support Al-Quds has tipped the scale in the Israeli understanding, which is why they were surprised... They were surprised by the timing, by the scope of the attacks carried out, and how prepared the Palestinians were, not to mention their steadfastness and resilience. They were also surprised that their intelligence services were clueless."
He added, "The July 2006 battle was foundational, but the battle of July 2021 is consolidating as it pushes forward the Israeli collapse that can occur at the Al-Quds front. This has also shown that the Axis of Resistance is a coherent triumphant axis that has achieved great advances in the previous stages."
Sheikh Qassem also said, "For the first time, you have a Palestinian operation in Al-Quds that brings together all Palestinians, and all Arabs and Muslims, and to which the Axis of Resistance offered aid and support in different ways, with the Palestinians of the inside declaring that they are part of the Axis, or rather its spearhead; meaning that the battle for Al-Quds is that of the Al-Quds Alliance altogether, and not just the Palestinians'."
Regarding coordination between the Resistance in Lebanon and the Palestinian Resistance, Qassem said, "With regards to the coordination with our Palestinian brothers, there was a vast amount of intel received from inside Palestine, minute by minute, reporting every step of the Israelis' movements, plans, and capabilities."
He added, "The Resistance in Lebanon was providing the Palestinian brothers with very specific information that affected the course of the battle and how to carry out defensive operations. Perhaps the most important incident that everyone is most likely aware of is the targeting of the tunnels by the Israelis, who thought that by promoting a ground invasion, they would eliminate the Palestinians who would enter the tunnels [after luring them into the trap].
However, the Resistance fighters did not enter the tunnels that were targeted, nor did they heed the Israeli threats [of a ground invasion], and it later turned out that there was no ground invasion and that this was merely a trick to eliminate them. We knew this plan from the very beginning, and so did the Palestinians, thanks to detailed intelligence work."
The Axis of Resistance to the Light, from the Heart of Palestine
Qassem declared, "For the first time, the Palestinians, regardless of their affiliation, be it Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, or any other faction, declared that they were part of the Axis of Resistance and that Iran is supporting this entire axis with all of its capabilities. This is crucial to call out all the Arab hypocrites who claimed that they support the Palestinian cause, yet they ran towards normalization."
He stressed, "It is now known that the Axis of Resistance is a cohesive political, military, media, and cultural axis; and so those who belong to it, under the leadership of Islamic Iran, the leadership of Imam Khamenei, may God preserve him, constitute the clear political leadership of this project."
Answering a question on the nature of the relationship between the Palestinian Resistance and the rest of the axis, Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah said that "the liberation of Palestine is first and foremost a Palestinian responsibility. The liberation of Palestine is first and foremost in the hands of Palestinians, but this axis is their support and backbone, and it does what the Palestinians want, without dictating their actions. They have complete autonomy in their choices, behavior, and actions."
The Evolution of the Axis of Resistance's Military Capabilities
Sheikh Qassem declared, "Today, our military capabilities are almost innumerable". Speaking on the types of weapons the Axis of Resistance possesses, he said that they "are unmatched in the history of the struggle with the Israeli enemy in terms of the level of weapons, armament, capacities, and abilities."
Sheikh Qassem also emphasized that the capabilities that manifested inside Palestine reflect the level of development in the capabilities of the Axis outside Palestine, saying that, "Inside Palestine, the Palestinians target occupied Jerusalem in their first strike against the Israelis, and then target Tel Aviv in retaliation for the towers. Then they target 'Asqalan and different areas, and then say let's fight on the ground. They can also rebuild what they lost in a month or two."
He added, "If the aggression on Al-Quds and its surrounding areas continues at a higher level and reaches a certain threshold that the Palestinian Resistance deems a red line, then a new military operation will be launched. Crossing red lines is over; we are no longer in the phase where the Palestinians defend and wait. No. We are now in the phase where they can initiate the attack to defend Al-Quds or protect Gaza and the future of Gaza."
Sheikh Qassem on the Late Ahmad Jibril: He was Against all Settlements on Palestine
Regarding late Palestinian leader Ahmad Jibril, Sheikh Qassem offered his condolences to his family and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on his death: "He is a great Palestinian figure and a bold and honest person. He always daringly opposed, in the media, the Palestinian organizations that were seeking to settle with the enemy... telling them that the solution lies in the Resistance," adding, "he was the most prominent Palestinian figure to oppose Oslo and the settlements, ever voicing his opposition to the entire path of making settlements, and supporting the Resistance until liberation."
A Victorious Axis vs. a Defeated Axis
Qassem also said that "when we look at the victories of the Axis of Resistance in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, Lebanon, and in this entire region, we cannot but also see the defeats of the other axis.
The Israeli-American axis along with their proponent Gulf Arabs could not achieve their goals in eliminating the Resistance, defeating its project, and sparing no effort to distance people from it. As for their pursuit of dismantling this axis, or at least striking its center or periphery, all the Israeli-American attempts went in vain.
The Economic Embargo and Sanctions on the Axis of Resistance
He stressed that "the US can showcase its strength and arrogance and direct its lackeys to lay waste to the earth, but it cannot stop the Resistance and it cannot change the will to change."
Qassem went on to say: "How do we face them? We try to circumvent the sanctions as much as possible. This can sometimes be through cooperation within the Axis, like what is happening now between Iran and Syria, for example, or through indirect or unforeseen means. However, the correct way to face the sanctions is through steadfastness and resisting the political project they are trying to implement. They will need to take a step back, and then the situation will get better, and God-willing this is what will happen in the future."
The Solution through the State in Lebanon and the Formation of the Government
"The real solution is that the government assumes responsibilities in all facets, social, economic, or in terms of livelihood. This cannot happen without the pillars of a state," Qassem said, considering that Hezbollah has not and will not pose itself as a substitute for the state, calling for the formation of a government that would be the first step towards solving the crisis. He also stressed the importance that this coming week because people can no longer withstand the difficulty of this situation.
Heading East, and Iranian Oil
Answering a question on when Hezbollah can take actual steps in Lebanon's heading East, Qassem said: "When we say that we need to head East, that we need to deal with Iran, that we should import fuel in Lebanese Pound, that we should procure food and medicine in Lebanese Pound, and that we should open up, whether to Iran, Russia, or China or to any other solution, we are opening a doorway that actually requires the will of the government to complete the process. However, this requires cooperation with the political forces inside Lebanon."
The Least of Our Worries Is Israeli Concern... What We Care About Is Saving Our People
Commenting on Israeli media reports stating that the Israelis are worried about Iran's role in Lebanon and the probability of its rising stocks, he said: "The least of our worries is Israel's concern. The Israelis are in a difficult place because they are now betting on political developments in Syria, Lebanon, and the region because they have lost the initiative.
We want to save our people, whether the Israelis like it or not. We are not relying on any superpower, Gulf state, or anyone, and any help preconditioned by a shift in political orientation is rejected."