Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Monday unveiled footage allegedly intercepted from Israeli surveillance planes of the site of the 2005 murder of former premier Rafik Hariri prior to his assassination.
"Such footage usually comes as the first leg of the execution of an operation," Nasrallah said in a long-awaited news conference broadcast via video link.
Several clips, each minutes long and undated, showed aerial views of the coastline off west Beirut on various days prior to the Hariri assassination.
Nasrallah, who has accused Israel of the February 15, 2005 bombing which killed Hariri and 22 other people, said the footage was intercepted from Israeli MK surveillance aircrafts.
Hizbullah's chief said the images were not "conclusive evidence" but noted that his party had no offices, positions or presence in the areas under surveillance that could have been of interest to its Israeli foes.
The alleged Israeli cameras panned across the Hamra district, Hariri's residences in west Beirut and parliament, his last stop before the killing in a seafront bomb blast.
"Israeli drones had carefully monitored the movements of (former) premier Rafik Hariri in Beirut and on the Farayya-Faqra road: was that a coincidence?"
"We have definite information on the aerial movements of the Israeli enemy the day Hariri was murdered. Hours before he was murdered, an Israeli drone was surveying the Sidon-Beirut-Jounieh coastline as warplanes were flying over the coast off Beirut."
The clips, aired live on all Lebanese TV networks, also showed close-up footage of a main highway and tunnel linking Beirut to Jounieh.
Nasrallah, whose party is close to Iran and Syria, last month revealed he was aware the U.N.-backed tribunal probing the Hariri murder was likely to indict members of Hizbullah, slamming the court as biased and part of an Israeli plot.
His statement stirred fears of an outbreak of Sunni-Shiite unrest in already tense Lebanon and prompted a landmark summit in Beirut last month between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Saudi King Abdullah and Lebanese leaders.
The Hariri assassination triggered an international outcry and led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon in April 2005 after a deployment of almost three decades.
The Hariri murder has been widely blamed on Syria, although Damascus has consistently denied involvement.
Nasrallah also demonstrated information about the alleged Israeli spy Ahmed Nasrallah "who admitted that he had been trying to control the course of Hariri's motorcade through deluding him into believing that Hizbullah wants to murder him."
"Spy Ahmed Nasrallah deluded Hariri into thinking that Hizbullah had a plan to assassinate Bahia Hariri, and hence to force him to go to Sidon to receive condolences so that he would be assassinated there," Nasrallah added.
Ahmed Nasrallah was supposedly arrested by Hizbullah which videotaped his confessions that were aired during the press conference. Hizbullah's chief said his party handed Ahmed Nasrallah over to Syria, which was in control of much of Lebanon's politics and security at the time. After the return of the alleged spy from Syria to Lebanon he managed to flee to Israel, Nasrallah added.
"Israel has the capability to carry out this type of operations, such as Hariri's assassination, and Israel's history is full of assassination operations against high-ranking figures and leaders," Nasrallah noted.
"It has become known that Israel has plenty of spies in Lebanon. It also has the motive because the Resistance is Israel's major enemy and it (Israel) has an animosity toward Syria, so it wouldn't miss a chance to create an uproar and use Hariri's blood to drive Syria out of Lebanon and besiege the Resistance."
Nasrallah said that Israel has "wiretapping devices, aerial and field surveillance in addition to logistic support to carry out the assassination operation in the Lebanese interior."
Hizbullah number one said that Israel was interested in performing assassination operations near the Lebanese seafront. "It assigned one of the spies to collect information about President Michel Suleiman's house and its distance from the shore and about Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji's yacht," he said to support his theory.
"Another spy confessed to collecting information about (Lebanese Forces leader Samir) Geagea and (Prime Minister) Saad Hariri. The question is why March 14 leaders are the ones always being targeted by monitoring? The answer is that Israel wants the blame to fall on Syria and Hizbullah," Nasrallah added.
He revealed that while civil strife did not erupt with Israel's assassination of the "Sunni" Hariri, "the enemy planned to murder the Shiite Speaker Nabih Berri to drag Lebanon into the strife that didn't occur after Hariri's death."
"I call for collecting the spies' confessions in order to draw a diagram of their work."
"In case the Special Tribunal for Lebanon ignored the evidences I presented, that would prove it is politicized," Nasrallah said.(Naharnet-AFP)
August 10, 2010 - Naharnet - Nasrallah Unveils 'Israeli Drone Footage' of Hariri Murder Site: If STL Ignored My Proofs, That'd Prove It's Politicized
Background - خلفية
On 13 December 2005 the Government of the Lebanese Republic requested the UN to establish a tribunal of an international character to try all those who are alleged responsible for the attack of 14 february 2005 that killed the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others. The United Nations and the Lebanese Republic consequently negotiated an agreement on the establishment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
Chronology - Chronologie
Détenus - Detainees - المعتقلون
International Criminal Justice
Videos - فيديو
- Now Lebanon : Crowds Gather to Show Support for International Tribunal, August 4, 2010
- IRIS Institute:La creation du TSL est-elle justifiee? - June 18, 2009
- Al Manar : Interview with Ali Hajj right after his release - April 30, 2009
- Al Manar: Summary of Jamil Al Sayyed's press conference, April 30, 2009
- AFP, Freed Lebanese prisoner speaks out - April 30, 2009
- OTV : exclusive interview with Jamil Sayyed - April 30, 2009
- Al Jazeeera English : Crowds celebrate Hariri suspects'release - April 29, 2009
- OTV : report about Ali el Hajj - March 18, 2009
Liens - Links - مواقع ذات صلة
Frederic Megret, McGill University, 2008. A special tribunal for Lebanon: the UN Security Council and the emancipation of International Criminal Justice
International Center for Transitional Justice Handbook on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, April 10, 2008
Conférence de presse de Nicolas Michel, 19 Sept 2007
Conférence de presse de Nicolas Michel, 27 Mars 2008
Département d'Etat américain
* 2009 Human Rights report
* 2008 Human Rights report
* 2007 Human Rights report
* 2006 Human Rights report
* 2005 Human Rights report
ICG - International Crisis Group
The Hariri Tribunal: Separate the Political and the Judicial, 19 July, 2007. [Fr]
HCSS - Hague Centre for strategic studies
Hariri, Homicide and the Hague
Human Rights Watch
* Hariri Tribunal can restore faith in law, 11 may 2006
* Letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, april 27, 2006
* STL insufficient without wider action to combat impunity
* Liban : le Tribunal de tous les dangers, mai 2007
* Jeu de mecano
Courrier de l'ACAT - Wadih Al Asmar
Le Tribunal spécial pour le Liban : entre espoir et inquiétude
La justice penale internationale pour le Liban : bienfait ou malediction?
Nadim Shedadi and Elizabeth Wilmshurt, Chatham House
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon : the UN on Trial?, July 2007
Issam Michael Saliba, Law Library of Congress
International Tribunals, National Crimes and the Hariri Assassination : a novel development in International Criminal Law, June 2007
Mona Yacoubian, Council on Foreign Relations
Linkages between Special UN Tribunal, Lebanon, and Syria, June 1, 2007