On November 3, 2023, the Secretary General of Lebanese Hizbullah, Hassan Nasrallah, delivered his first speech since the October 7 Hamas assault against Israel.
Nasrallah extended his support to Hamas's attack, codenamed "Al-Aqsa Flood," asserting that Hamas has proved it is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. He denied any involvement by Iran or its proxies in planning or implementing the Hamas attack.
He further praised the Iran-backed Axis Of Resistance, namely, the Yemen-based Ansar Allah (known as Houthis) and the Iraqi militias for launching attacks in support of Hamas, suggesting that they are part of the ongoing war with Israel.
He claimed that Hizbullah’s military operations against Israel, which started on October 8, signal the organization's official participation in the war, noting that Hizballah's military response may expand depending on future developments, and regardless of the U.S., and Israeli threats.
The televised speech was promoted by Telegram channels affiliated with Iran-backed militias in the region and livestreamed on X (formerly Twitter) and YouTube.
'The Aqsa Flood Op Was Purely Palestinian'
In his speech, Nasrallah that the Al-Aqsa Flood operation was decided and implemented by Palestinians, asserting that the attack by Hamas was fully legitimate on human, moral, and religious levels. He added that the Palestinian battle had nothing to do with any regional agenda.
Denying his organization's role in the attack, he said that Hizbullah did not know anything about the Al-Aqsa Flood operation, yet Hizbullah and other resistance factions are not "upset" by Hamas's concealment of the October 7th attack plan.
"This blessed jihadi operation was 100 percent a Palestinian decision and the implementation was Palestinian 100 precent," he said.
'Iran And Resistance Factions Had No Role'
Nasrallah reiterated that Hizbullah, and other Iran-backed militias in the region, did not participate in planning or implementing the operation and that it was kept in complete secrecy, arguing that Iran does not exercise any guardianship over the factions in the region or their leaders.
"The decision [making process] is made by the resistance factions and its leaders, not [by] Iran," he said.
"The absolute secrecy is what ensured the brilliant success of the October 7 operation through the factor of surprise. [..] Concealing the October 7 operation had absolutely no effect on any of the other resistance fronts."
Praising Hamas's performance, he emphasized the absolute Palestinian authenticity of the operation, saying: "The Al-Aqsa Flood Battle, through its Palestinian decisions, proves that it is entirely Palestinian."
Nasrallah acknowledged, however, that throughout its history, the Islamic Republic of Iran has openly "supported and adopted" the stances of the resistance factions. Yet it never exercised any responsibility or ownership over their decisions, he said.
Reasons Behind The Hamas Attack
Justifying the Hamas attack, Nasrallah blamed Israeli officials, accusing them of "besieging" Gaza for more than 20 years. He said that the operation was the outcome of the international community’s neglecting the deteriorating conditions of the Palestinians.
He also pointed out that the current "stupid" Israeli government has implemented strict security measures against Arab Israelis in the West Bank and allowed continuous violations to take place in the Aqsa Mosque, a holy site for Muslims. He further accused the international community of abandoning its responsibility towards "thousands" of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.
He said the Hamas attack was necessary to bring the Palestinian issue to the forefront, as a priority to the world.
'Hamas's Attack Showed Israel's Weakness'
Assessing the Hamas attack on October 7, he described it as a "heroic, brave, creative, well implemented grand act, which sent shockwaves to the Israeli entity on security, military, political, psychological, and morale levels." That impact will never fade away and will continue to shape Israel's future, he said.
He added that the attack revealed Israel's weakness, noting their rush to ask for the U.S. support, which proved Israeli weakness. "The American speed in embracing and supporting Israel revealed the weakness and failure of this entity. Israel has asked America for weapons and money since the first day of the Al-Aqsa Flood Battle."
Addressing the U.S. support for Israel, he added: "The enemy government, from the first day of the battle, needed the Mediterranean and Red Seas for military support." He noted that Israel's request for U.S. financial aid and weapons shows that it is not a "strong" state. He further mocked the European official reaction in support of Israel, claiming that it further exposes the "weakness" of Israel and the collapse of its morale.
Nasrallah emphasized that the attack established a new historical foundation for the battle against Israel and was worth all the sacrifice made by the people of Gaza and the region. There was no other choice for Hamas but to act, he said, stressing that the decision to launch the attack was right and wise.
'Israel Killed Its Civilians, Not Hamas'
Discussing what happened on October 7, Nasrallah praised the timing of the Hamas attack, noting that it took place on the eve of a Jewish holiday in which, he said, Israelis, including officials, were sleeping after they "stayed up all night and were drunk."
Mocking the Israeli official reaction to the massacre committed by Hamas against Israeli civilians, Nasrallah said that Israeli officials were sleeping and did not make an appearance until later in the day.
He went on to say that when the Israeli officials heard about the attack, they were in a "state of anger and madness. Therefore, when they went to restore control over the settlements [kibbutzim and towns] near Gaza's border from the Palestinian resistance fighters, it was them [i.e., Israelis] who committed the massacres against the Israeli settlers, not, as they claim, that it was Hamas and other resistance factions."
He reiterated that investigations would reveal later that the Israeli civilians "were killed by the bullets and missiles of the Israeli army."
'Israel's Unachievable Goals'
Addressing the Israeli military escalation, Nasrallah said the goals set by Israel to eliminate Hamas are too high for Tel Aviv to achieve. He noted that in the 2006 war, Israel said it would eliminate Hizbullah, but it never did. He further ruled out any possibility that Hamas would hand over hostages to Israel without receiving something in return. Such an Israeli demand would never be considered, he said.
Nasrallah stressed that the Israeli military escalation in Gaza would not deter Hamas or Gazans, adding that Hizbullah and its supporters in southern Lebanon endured a similar Israeli campaign in 2006.
Addressing the Arab world, he told them that the suffering of Gazans under the Israeli bombardments proved that normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel was a lie.
'America Is The Great Satan'
Condemning the U.S. support for the Israeli military escalation in Gaza, he said everyone "must know that America is fully responsible for what is happening in Gaza, and Israel is merely an implementation tool."
Stressing that America is responsible for everything happening in Gaza, he claimed that Washington opposes a ceasefire in Gaza and quoted Iran's late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, who called America "the Great Satan." Nasrallah continued, saying that America "is the one responsible for all the massacres in the present and in the past," citing the U.S. military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and elsewhere.
'Iraqi Resistance Is Taking Part In The War'
Nasrallah praised the attacks launched by Iran-backed militias in Iraq under the banner of the "Islamic Resistance in Iraq," which targeted U.S. bases in Syria and Iraq. Nasrallah said that the attacks on bases in Iraq signal their participation in the war.
"The decision of the Islamic resistance in Iraq to attack the U.S. military occupation bases in Iraq and Syria comes within the context that America is the one running the battle in Gaza, and therefore it should pay the price of its aggression."
Continuing to applaud the attacks, he said: "This is a wise, brave, accurate, and blessed decision by the leadership of the Islamic Resistance."
Commenting on a statement issued by Akram Al-Kaabi, the leader of the Iran-backed Iraqi Al-Nujaba' Movement in Iraq, who said that the resistance factions in Iraq would expand the regional map of its attack against the U.S., Nasrallah welcomed "these new moves," implying that the attacks might also include targets in Israel.
It is noteworthy that the Iraqi militias claimed an attack on November 2 against an unidentified Israeli target on the Dead Sea coastline.
He further noted that such attacks signal that the Iraqi resistance factions are indeed entering the war.
Salute to Houthis
Addressing the Houthi claimed missile attacks against Israel, he praised the leadership of Houthis and their defiance of U.S. warnings. He said that despite the fact that their missile and drone attacks have been intercepted thus far, eventually, if the Houthis continue to launch them, they will reach their targets.
Hizbullah's Military Role, Reaction To U.S. Warning
Discussing Hizbullah's military reaction, he said that many anticipate that his speech would be a declaration of his organization's participation in the war against Israel. Yet the reality is that "we already entered the battle since the eighth of last October,” he stated.
Even though Hizbullah had no prior knowledge of Hamas plan, he said, Hizbullah started its military operations near the northern border with Israel the second day of Hamas attack.
He noted that events on the Lebanese front are "unprecedented in the history of the Israeli entity. And what is happening on the Israeli border will not be limited in [impact] in any case."
Boasting about Hizbullah's operations against Israel, he claimed the battles today are more significant than those the group conducted in its 2006 war against Israel. However, only those who are close to the frontline can have a sense of Hizbullah's impact. He said all kinds of weapons and targets are being utilized by Hizbullah fighters, of whom at least 57 "met martyrdom" in the battle.
He argued that Hizbullah military operations against Israel have "forced the enemy to keep its forces at the border and mobilize more of them, which eases the pressure on Gaza."
A third of the Israeli army's logistical forces are currently directed at the Lebanese border, he said, and they are all elite forces, explaining that Hizballah's operations sent a message to the occupation that "it will commit the greatest folly in the history of its existence if it decides to attack Lebanon."
Nasrallah said that Hizbullah operations on the borders with Israel have created "a state of anxiety, anticipation, and fear among the enemy leadership and even in Washington."
Claiming that Hizbullah forced dozens of Israelis to flee, he said that "43 settlements in northern occupied Palestine were evacuated due to our operations."
Describing Hizbullah fighters' performance so far, he said: "Our battle has not reached the stage of victory by knockout, but we are winning with points."
In what could be an indication that he has no plans at this point to take full part in the war against Israel unless the situation requires, he stated:
"Our front is a front of solidarity with Gaza, and it develops and moves according to developments there. All possibilities on our Lebanese front are open.”
He said that "the Zionist enemy's behavior towards Lebanon is a determinant of our [future] moves," threatening that if one Lebanese civilian were killed, an Israeli civilian would also be killed.
Nasrallah stressed that "all options are on the table, and we can use them at any time."
Addressing Washington, he said: "Whoever wants to prevent the expansion of fronts in the region must stop the aggression against the Gaza Strip."
He further noted that Hizbullah is not hiding from the American fleets stationed in the Mediterranean Sea, claiming that his organization is well prepared for any U.S. action.
Undeterred by U.S. warnings, he claimed that he had received, on more than one occasion, messages that America would strike Hizbullah if it continued its operations in the south.
Message To Arab Rulers
Addressing Arab rulers, he called on them to take actions to ensure a ceasefire in Gaza, warning that statements of condemnation are useless. He also called on them to cut ties with Israel, stop normalization of diplomatic relations, and stop sending oil and economic aid to Israel.
 Youtube.com/live/yALpObD9z6Y, last accessed on November 3, 2023.