The Secretary General of Hizbullah spoke through al-Manar television this evening, and called on the peoples of the Arab and Islamic nations to participate in the activities of solidarity aimed at lifting the siege on Gaza.
The following is the full text of His Eminence's speech:
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Thanks and Praise be to Allah; Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you all.
For a number of weeks, our people in the Gaza Strip live under a water tight siege, without an opening onto this wide world. If we take into consideration the "Israeli" political and operational escalation, in addition to their military threats, there does not appear to be any hope of the siege on Gaza and its inhabitants being lifted in the near future.
This requires a moment's contemplation from all of us, in our different posts and situations, to pause and weigh the responsibility and duty towards this great human suffering.
In a broader view and after sixty years of the occupation of Palestine, we find ourselves facing a new stage, during which America and "Israel" strain to liquidate the Palestinian cause in all its foundations, pillars and principals.
Such as the issue of the Palestinian refugees outside the occupied Palestinian territories, an issue that appears without horizon against the consensus held by the Americans, the "Israelis", international collusion and Arab silence on the question of the right of return, its consolidation and implementation, and contrarily, the rather plotting to resettle and naturalize the Palestinian refugees in countries where they reside.
Second, the issue of al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the strong undergoing efforts spent on the Judaization of al-Quds, and the displacement of the remaining Palestinians population of East al-Quds through harassment on all fields and the demolition of houses under all types of pretexts.
Thirdly, we find the gradual displacement of our people in the West Bank through building the wall, the lack of work opportunities, checkpoints, arrests and the harsh conditions experienced by our people there.
In recent weeks we even witnessed the olive harvesting battle, the last of the Palestinians vestiges that remain in their territories. The attacks launched by herds of settlers against our people in more than one city and village, especially in the city of al-Khalil (Hebron), leading to the continuing threat to expel 1948-Palestinians, in the territories occupied in 1948; this threat affects all Palestinians, Muslims and Christians.
What Livni said was not a slip of the tongue, but an expression of the position unanimously held by Zionist party leaders. It is the dream of all "Israelis", their permanent work-focus, the creation of a so-called 'pure Jewish state', a goal that has the support of the United States of America and the world, it even receives the 'understanding' of some, who ought to stand in defense of Palestine and the Palestinian people.
Furthermore, the suffering of thousands of Palestinian prisoners and the blockade of Gaza and the people of Gaza, which aims to transform the strip to an uninhabitable place, as a prelude to the complete expulsion of the Palestinians.
At the conclusion of today's scene, we stand before an operation of complete liquidation of all the existing elements, foundations and platforms of the Palestinian issue, the large heading in this battle at this stage today, is the siege of Gaza.
The objective of this siege is to break the will of the Palestinian people, to frustrate them into submission to the American and "Israeli" conditions, to accept a humiliating settlement process that does not preserve the least rights of even the minimum of the Palestinian people's legitimate rights.
Over sixty years, this dear people have withstood, resisted and made enormous sacrifices; it is this people who stopped the liquidation of the Palestinian issue, during the last sixty years, despite the complicity of the world, the betrayal of friends, and the sense given by many, even in our Arab world, that this issue has become a burden to be rid of in any way possible.
One of the most important manifestations of this steadfastness and resistance is what we witnessed in the Palestinian Intifada in recent years, and what we see in Gaza today.
Gaza today has two scenes: a scene of siege, starvation, blackouts, darkness, cold, disease and "Israeli" air raids... On the other hand a different scene in contrast, a scene of patience, steadfastness, resistance, stubbornness and endurance on what is right and sticking to this stand; here I do not need to provide evidence, of which we have all heard and seen examples through the media, statements and expressions made by the people of Gaza, their men, women, children and their elderly, in the stance and the spirit they expressed in this regard.
Then came the peak of this expression and its truth in Gaza Strip when its people came out in a large massive rally held by the brothers in Hamas in Gaza yesterday.
Considering all of the above, we are invited to seek responsibility and accountability.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Sixty years ago, had the leaders, governments, and the people of this nation assumed their responsibility and mobilized at the right time, Palestine would not have been occupied, the 'Nakbah' (catastrophe) would not have occurred, and the usurper entity could not have come into existence to humiliate this nation, its governments, its peoples and its armies, it could not have committed the worst massacres and atrocities against this nation's young and old, men and women, not only in Palestine but in more than one Arab country, aggression assaults against this nation could not have occurred nor continue to occur over sixty years.
Brothers and sisters,
Yesterday, a kind invitation was made by the Arab National Conference, the Islamic National Council and the General Assembly for Arab Parties to launch a large popular mobilization campaign across the Arab world, in solidarity with the people of Gaza, to break the siege of the Strip.
In their statement, which I hope it receives the people's interest and concern, these conferences called for a series of moves, activities and stands, starting from next Friday, God willing.
As far as Hizbullah and the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon are concerned, we call for responding to these calls with the largest possible popular mobilization throughout the entire Arab and Islamic worlds, as we consider this to be the minimum that should be done towards achieving this goal.
As mentioned in the statement, in order to achieve this goal it is natural to look and appeal to Egypt, the Egyptian leadership, government and brothers, to permanently and finally open the Rafah crossing to Gaza.
We demand this historic and courageous step from Egypt, as a step to be recorded for Egypt by the Umma (nation) and history.
Commitments to the agreements on keeping the border crossings closed, has no humanitarian, moral, religious nor even legal ground to be upheld, when the closure leads to major humanitarian disaster or a war crime, such as that which is happening now in the Gaza Strip.
I say to the Egyptian officials, yes, brothers, time is not the time for outbidding between each other, nor does anyone want to make political scores against anyone else, here or there, but the fact remains, we are faced with a very painful reality.
There are hundreds of patients dying in Gaza, and hundreds of thousands living in darkness and hunger. This requires an historical and responsible stand from you, the entire nation will be at your side, and should you take this stand.
In the case of Egypt taking such a stand, the OIC and the League of Arab States are invited to stand by Egypt in case it is made accountable or should it become target for questioning by any of the world's tyrants.
Brother and sisters,
Our responsibility today is to move and continue to work.
Movement starts on Friday not to end on Friday; Friday must be the beginning of the movement, to take responsibility to lift the siege on our people in Gaza, to assume this basic and important role in this central Palestinian issue.
Today we address you and the Arab Muslims from humanitarian, Islamic and Arabic positions.
On the humanitarian level, we address the entire world and all humanity, all the followers of the divine religions, in particular and especially Christians who will be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ (pbuh) in the coming days.
From this humanitarian level, we also call on all those celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights today, sixty years on its inception, and tell them there is one and a half million people in Gaza facing hunger, sickness, danger and death; I appeal to all those who believe in human dignity, human values and human rights.
This appeal is directed to all religious, political, cultural, and humanitarian and human rights authorities in the world, from the Vatican to all churches, frameworks and authority figures.
Here and I ask, "Would Jesus Christ (pbuh) allow the siege of one and a half million human beings, whose only crime is their insisting on their rights, and to stay on their land?"
I address the one billion and more Muslims, scattered all over various parts of the world, to them I say: 'Oh Muslims, we all claim to belong to the religion of Muhammad (pbuh), the religion of the seal of the profits, and was it not he who told us, "a Muslim is the brother of the Muslim", "Muslims are like the one body", and "He who enters upon the morning and into evening without concerning him/herself with the matters of Muslims is not a Muslim?"
Did he not also tell us that "He who hears a person calling out 'O Muslims', and does not respond, is not a Muslim?"
O Muslims, our religion is one of defending the oppressed, one that comes to the aid of the victim, today one and a half million Muslims in the Gaza Strip, plead, appeal and demand from us to stand by their side.
Is it not our religious and Islamic duty to take the appropriate stance?
Today Muslims all over the world rejoice and celebrate the pilgrims for returning safely from the Sacred House of God, this duty of coming to the aid of our people in Gaza and Palestine is no less important or of no less religious value than the pilgrimage to God's Sacred House.
It is the real and sincere expression of the rightness of this pilgrimage and its acceptability by God Almighty.
To all those who stoned the devils in Mina (in Mecca), all those who performed each and every single one of the pilgrimage rites in Mecca, to them I say: your pilgrimage expresses itself here on Friday and thereafter, in your stance, your voice, presence in the street, in your support of these people, your call out to the entire world to lift this siege imposed on the one and a half million of your Muslim brothers, brothers in religion and in faith.
Additionally, from an national and Arab standpoint, I send an appeal to the Arab nation and peoples, to all those who are proud in their Arabism, regardless of which faith they follow, or which Arab State they come from, those who proudly speak of their Arab heritage, gallant, courage and equestrian heroism; where is this Arab feeling and gallantry today?
Where is this equestrian heroism, when one and a half million Arabs in the Gaza Strip are besieged with darkness, starvation, illness, danger and the threat of a military operation, within the pretext of escalating Zionist bidding for the coming elections.
Brothers and sisters,
From a humanitarian position, if we are to consider ourselves human, and from the prophetic religious position if we are followers of messengers, from an Islamic position if we were followers of the prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) religion, from an Arab position if we consider ourselves Arab as we claim, I call on you all, throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds, to respond to the appeal given by these conferences and the appeals of Gaza and its people.
We in Lebanon, god willing, will respond to the duty I mentioned, which I consider as the minimum requirement that does not absolve us from the rest of our religious duties.
I suggest that the coordination committee representing these conferences additional to representatives from the other resistance movements to converge, study, jointly reflect and comprehensively plan to continue the work in various areas, and not settle only for what can be done in the next few days.
In Lebanon, I call on everyone, this story here is the story of humanity and human values, human rights and human dignity, the story of brothers in flesh and faith.
This is not a case of 'March 8' or ' March 14', this or that religious denomination. The issue here today is the strongest call to the entire nation, with its various religions, denominations and sects, to stand united to assume this humanitarian, religious, divine and historic responsibility.
I call everyone in Lebanon to express this stand on Friday.
God willing, in Hizbullah we will seek the cooperation in the major cities, in district centers, with the rest of our brothers and friends, to set up meetings and various sit-ins, we will organize a main popular demonstration in the Southern Dahiya suburb.
Here I do not call on the people of the different suburbs to attend the Dahiya demonstration; I call on them to participate in the meetings, protests and sit-ins to be held in major cities. I make my appeal to our folks in Beirut, Beirut suburbs, the Southern Dahiya suburb, the one that was exposed to 33 days of "Israeli" aggression, was destroyed, yet remained steadfast and resisted, its hope is to record a steadfast, honorable, resolute and self-will stand in this nation's history.
O our people in the Dahiya, in Beirut, in the suburbs, here are your resisting, resolute and steadfast folks in Gaza; their eyes are drawn to you and to all the peoples of our Arab and Islamic worlds.
I invite you, God willing, to a wide, effective, vital and powerful participation on Friday at 2 in the afternoon, to join a demonstration of support, to give backing, to make your voice heard to demand for the lifting of the siege on our people in Gaza, to support the choice or endurance, resistance, steadfastness, clasp and insistence on our rights.
Regardless of the threats, sacrifices and difficulties, you are, as you have always been, the truly worthy folks for responding to such appeal.
Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you all.