Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah holds press conference to offer alleged proof Israel is behind 2005 Rafik Hariri assassination

– I promised to hold a press conference to present information accusing Israel of being involved in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

– Ever since I made the declaration, a certain party questioned the timing of my press conference. I will answer that question at the end of my press conference.

– I welcome you all. I thank all media outlets that will broadcast what we have to say tonight.

– The first thing we have to say is: Israel accused Hezbollah of being involved in the Rafik Hariri crime. In 1993, Hezbollah was organizing a protest in Dahiyeh against the signing of the Oslo Accord, after which clashes broke out. At the time, tension increased between Rafik Hariri and Hezbollah.

– An Israeli agent at the time told Hariri that Hezbollah wants to kill him and mentioned the name of Imad Mugniyah [the Hezbollah military commander assassinated in Damascus in 2008.]

– After September 13, 1993, Syrian intelligence ordered the arrest of Ali Dib, a Hezbollah official.

– Days after his arrest, I went to Anjar and asked the Syrians why Dib was arrested. [Former Syrian Interior Minister] Ghazi Kanaan told me at the time that Rafik Hariri visited him and told him that there was a person close to Imad Mugniyah who took part in a meeting where Mugniyah and others were plotting to kill Hariri.

– Dib was sent to Damascus and the investigation of him continued in Damascus.

– In 1996, Hezbollah was tracking an Israeli spy, called Ahmad Nasrallah.

– I went to meet Syrian official Ali Douba, after which [I was told] Ahmad Nasrallah’s claims were unfounded.

– Ahmad Nasrallah lied to Rafik Hariri’s [security] that Hezbollah wanted to kill him. He even told Hariri that Mugniyah was plotting to kill [Rafik Hariri’s] sister, MP Bahia Hariri, after which [Hezbollah] would kill Rafik Hariri when he would attend her funeral.

– Ahmad Nasrallah told Hariri once that Hezbollah will kill him with a car bomb.

– Al-Manar broadcasts a video about Ahmad Nasrallah, which says that: Ahmad Nasrallah was arrested in 1996 and released in 2000, after which he escaped to Israel through the southern border. His family later joined him.

– The video shows Ahmad Nasrallah confessing that his claims to Rafik Hariri that Hezbollah aimed to kill the former PM were lies.

– We have to assume that Rafik Hariri at the time not only informed Syrian intelligence, but also told [countries friendly to him], including France.

– This is how Israel was plotting from the beginning to link [Rafik] Hariri’s murder to Hezbollah.

– A video is shown on Israeli accusation against Hezbollah, which says that: On February 14, 2005 [the day of Rafik Hariri’s murder], Israeli radio reported that Rafik Hariri had disputes with Hezbollah; on Feb 17, 2005: [Israeli newspaper] Yediot Ahrononot also mentioned a similar report. [Israeli journalist] Amos Heril on May 25, 2010 wrote a report in [Israeli newspaper] Haaretz accusing Hezbollah of killing Rafik Hariri.

– The video goes on to say: On February 10, 2010, Israeli website Nana 10 reported that Hezbollah killed Hariri.

– Let us now move on to the second part [part of the press conference] entitled, We Accuse Israel of Killing [Rafik] Hariri.

– Israel has the capacity to carry out an operation that targets Rafik Hariri.

– Lebanon is the best place for Israel to carry out its operations, due to its geographical location, etc.

– Israel has collaborators in Lebanon in all fields.

– [As for] motive; everyone knows that Israel’s rivalry with Hezbollah is extremely [fierce]. Israel hence seeks the opportunity [to act against Hezbollah].

– Israel had no problem with Syria when [it was in] Lebanon. Israel has problems with Syria because it supports Hezbollah.

– Syrian President [Bashar al-Assad] told me in 2004, before the issuing of [UN Security Council] Resolution 1559, that the US does not mind having Syrian forces in Lebanon, but on two conditions: [They need] to disarm Hezbollah and Palestinian factions in Lebanon.

– Assad told [the US] that Hezbollah is part of [Lebanon’s] national security, hence he denied [the US’ request].

– Then came the project to force Syria out of Lebanon and isolate Hezbollah.

– The Rafik Hariri assassination was used against Syria and Hezbollah.

– [I will discuss] Israel’s methods of operation [which] will help us understand the evidence I will present.

– Israel depends on aerial surveillance. Israel uses the MK [unmanned aerial vehicle] to [spy on] towns in Lebanon.

– Second, [I will discuss] Israel’s use of technical support, including the telecom sector.

– Third, [I will discuss Israel’s] use of spies.

– Has Israel [conducted intelligence operations] in Lebanon since 2004?

– When we answer this question, we will be able to understand the killings that were made.

– We start with the Israeli collaborators, who were arrested between 2009 and 2010.

– We start with the collaborators’ confessions to the Lebanese security forces.

– Let us take a sample of the collaborators, after which I will make some remarks.

– [The] names of some [of the collaborators] who confessed to being spies include: Philippos Hanna Sader, who was born in 1964, started spying [for Israel] in 2006, and was arrested in 2010. His role was to gather information about the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and political figures. He confessed to providing information on President Michel Sleiman, and his residence in Amchit. Sader also confessed to gathering information on LAF commander [General Jean] Kahwaji.

– I have to say that field inspections and the gathering of information is a phase that precedes the implementation [of a certain operation].

– Does a spy inspect a site only to gather information, or to also plot for a certain operation?

– [Sader] confessed to inspecting Kahwaji’s yacht. Could he have inspected [the yacht] because he wanted to put a bomb [in it]?

– Why did the International Independent Investigation Commission [commissioned by the UN to investigate Rafik Hariri’s assassination] not question Sader or other collaborators to see if they were involved in other killings?

– Syrian officials were questioned by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), but none of the Israeli officers [handling] Israeli collaborators in Lebanon were questioned.

– Another video is shown on an alleged Israeli spy, which says that: Said Tanios Alam, who was arrested in 2009, started spying for [Israel] in 1990. He confessed to monitoring PM Saad Hariri and [Lebanese Forces leader] Samir Geagea as well as the movement of politicians in the Jbeil area.

– Alam was asked to monitor Geagea. He was asked to determine when Saad Hariri visited Geagea. Why does Israel want to monitor Saad Hariri and Samir Geagea? This is the answer for the people asking “why were March 14 alliance members assassinated?”

– Who goes to Jbeil coffee shops? Most [politicians visiting Jbeil] were from the March 14 alliance.

– A video is shown on an alleged Israeli spy, which says that: Nasser Nader, who was arrested in 2009, confessed to being involved in the 2004 killing of Hezbollah official Ghaleb Awali.

– When Awali was killed, Jund al-Sham issued a statement that it was behind the assassination.

– A video is shown on an alleged Israeli spy, which says that: Faysal Maklad confessed to harboring Israeli troops in Lebanon and transporting weapons.

– A video is shown on an alleged Israeli spy, which says that: Adib Alam confessed to monitoring Lebanese regions as well as being involved, along with his wife, in the killing of [Islamic Jihad Movement officials Mahmoud and Nidal al-Majzoub in 2006 in Saida].

– The secret I want to reveal tonight is that before 1997, Hezbollah was able to catch an Israeli spy plane photographing South Lebanon and sending them to an Israeli operations center.

– Hezbollah managed to access Israel’s spy maneuvers.

– This was a technical achievement for Hezbollah.

– We kept this to ourselves at first. The images we intercepted were difficult to analyze.

– No one is capable of directly understanding these intercepted [images]. Our capacities did not allow us to intercept all the images taken by Israeli spy planes over Lebanon.

– Israel later encrypted their [spy plane] operations, so sometimes we could not decipher what they photographed.

– Hezbollah caught pictures of Israel taking pictures from the shore to a road that leads to the [southern] town of Ansariya.

– We identified the place that Israel was focusing on. We questioned if Israel wanted to conduct an operation at that location.

– On September 5, 1997, Israel commandos landed on the beach and took the road [to Ansariya that had been photographed by the Israelis], after which there was a clash.

– We were not able to intercept the images of the Ansariya battle [itself].

– A video is shown of an Israeli Unmanned Aerial Vehicle’s (UAV) footage: The video shows where Hezbollah planned an ambush against Israeli commandos. The video then shows an Israeli helicopter approaching to rescue the commandos. The video also shows Hezbollah rockets targeting the Israeli soldiers waiting for the helicopter’s rescue.

– The narrator of the video says: Until now it is uncertain if the commandos were going to plant a bomb to target a Hezbollah official or to kidnap a Hezbollah official. The intercepted UAV’s footage proves that an assassination attempt was being planned.

– A video is shown of more UAV footage: The video shows surveillance of Hezbollah official Ali Dib as the plane flies over his house in Saida. Another spy plane monitors where he worked in Saida. The narrator of the video says: The monitoring was conducted for two years, before Dib was killed by a car bomb on the Saida road.

– A video is shown of more UAV footage: The video depicts a surveillance operation over Mahmoud al-Majzoub’s residence and workplace in Saida. The narrator of the video says: Majzoub was killed in Saida in 2006.

– After Rafik Hariri was killed, I visited his family. [They] asked for Hezbollah’s help in [discovering who was behind the assassination].

– The public, at the time, accused Syria [of the assassination], until German magazine Der Spiegel published an article [in May 2009 accusing Hezbollah of murdering Rafik Hariri].

– Hezbollah held a meeting addressing Israeli collaborators. We assumed many collaborators escaped from Lebanon, but a few others remained in Lebanon.

– We decided to go back to archives we had since 2005 to see if we can intercept Israeli UAV footage of roads used by Rafik Hariri that could be targeted by Israel.

– We will display footage of Israeli [UAV] surveillance, mostly over Beirut.

– You will notice that the surveillance we intercepted is being made from different angles. It is not being made [just] to conduct surveillance in general, but to prepare for a possible operation.

– I want you to watch how they spied on the [turns] in the routes [taken by Rafik Hariri].

– A video is shown of Israeli UAV surveillance of routes used by Rafik Hariri: Hariri’s house in Beirut is circled [by the UAV], as is the PM’s palace, Nejmeh Square and the Parliament. The UAV also follows [a road taken by Hariri] along the sea, including the Saint George area [where Hariri was killed]. Surveillance focusing on the Saint George area in detail is shown. A red circle shows the spot where Rafik Hariri was killed.

– Are there any Hezbollah offices in these areas monitored by Israel? Why is Israel monitoring these locations?

– Is it a coincidence [that Israel is monitoring Rafik Hariri’s routes]?

– A video is shown of Israeli UAV surveillance: The footage focuses on the Nahr al-Kalb tunnel, Jounieh, Dbayeh, after which the UAV focuses on the Faqra-Ayoun al-Siman area, which is covered in snow. The footage then shifts to the Yasou al-Malak road, which is the only road that leads to Rafik Hariri’s spa in Faqra.

– A video is shown of Israeli UAV surveillance: The plane monitors the Jiyeh highway and the Saida entrance.

– A video is shown of Israeli UAV surveillance: The UAV reaches Nejmeh Square, after which it flies over the residence of Rafik Hariri’s brother, Chafik.

– We think that these videos were made in preparation for an operation.

– Now we will move on to Israel’s activity on February 14, 2005, the day of Rafik Hariri’s assassination.

– A video is shown on Israeli aerial activity over Lebanon on February 13 and 14, 2005: The video reports that Israeli reconnaissance planes flew over Saida on February 13, 2005, while several warplanes flew over Beirut hours before Hariri was killed. On February 14, 2005, an Israeli AWACS plane flew over Beirut along with another Israeli spy plane.

– This video can be acquired by any investigative commission to ensure it is correct. We are sure of this evidence, or else we would not risk showing it.

– We have evidence that Ghassan al-Jedd, an alleged Israeli spy who hosted Israeli operations teams, was present at the Rafik Hariri crime scene. We presented the evidence to the Lebanese authorities, but Jedd escaped from Lebanon before he was caught.

– A video is shown on Jedd: Jedd was born in 1940 and became an Israeli spy in the early 1990s, before he escaped from Lebanon in 2009. He hosted Israeli officers in Lebanon. In March 2004, Israeli officers entered Lebanon through the sea and were hosted by Jedd for 50 hours in a location in Mount Lebanon.

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