In a TV interview, Lebanese cleric Hashem Safieddine, head of the Executive Council of Hizbullah, said that "Israel is closer than ever before to its demise" and warned that "the time for operations will come." When the interviewer asked whether Hizbullah was capable of entering the Galilee or "even further than the Galilee" with ground forces, Safieddine responded: "We have that capability. Of course." The interview aired on Mayadeen TV on August 8.
Hashem Safieddine: "We are only becoming more convinced in our belief that Israel is closer than ever before to its demise. Israel, that power which was created in our region, that terrorist military barracks that perpetrated all those massacres... Israel is now closer than ever before to its demise.
"The time for operations will come. Right now, we need to talk about capabilities. The capability exists, but should we be using it or not? One generally does not talk about battles before they are held, or about operations before they take place. We will talk about the operations when the battle takes place. We are talking about capabilities. Does Hizbullah have this capability? Yes, it does."
Host: "Is it capable of entering the Galilee with ground forces?"
Hashem Safieddine: "Even more than that. We have that capability."
Host: "Even further than the Galilee?"
Hashem Safieddine: "We have that capability. Of course."
Host: "And the will, if the circumstances are..."
Hashem Safieddine: "This will depend upon the goal and the military target. This is not something to be determined right now.
"When we talk about Israel's demise, we are not talking about something falling from the skies, but rather, about an [attack] that will be launched from down here. We are talking about our capabilities, our manpower, our weapons, our expertise, and the support we receive from the peoples.
"What is the military battle in which Israel will be wiped out? Some of us seem to believe that this would require battleships and airplanes, and would necessitate destroying all of Israel's military capabilities. This is not the case. When Israel withdrew from Lebanon - was it after we hit all the tanks and all the military bases and posts? No. I'm talking about Israel's defeat in 2006. War is a combination of factors: morale, the will to fight, to be steadfast, and actual superiority on the ground. When Israel loses these factors, it will have been defeated."