In an interview with the pan-Arab satellite television channel "Al Jazeera", the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, denied the Israeli reports that 50 percent of Hezbollah’s military force have been wiped out.
He said: "I can affirm, without exaggeration or psychological warfare, that the command structure of Hezbollah did not suffer any harm in the violent raid during which the Israeli forces used 22 tons of explosives, and which they believed to have had success, but this is not true".
Nasrallah stressed that "the ongoing Israeli shelling of civilian targets reflects the failure of the Israeli intelligence and military".
In regards to the ground confrontations, Nasrallah said that, "what is happening on the border is the beginning of confrontation". He said that "the fighters have so far not made great efforts on the ground" and he denied the Israeli claims that Hezbollah fortified sites had been destroyed, saying, "these sites were only control points that have been vacated since the first moment of the capture of the Israeli soldiers".
In reference to Israel’s economic and human losses, he said "the reason for the lack of such losses is that the Israelis hide in shelters".
He thanked the Lebanese people for supporting the resistance, referring to a survey that confirmed that the Lebanese people are in favour of the resistance option. Nasrallah said that "Israel will realize from this survey the steadfastness of the Lebanese people and the Israeli military option will fail".
On the other hand, Nasrallah apologized to the Palestinian family in the Israeli city of Nazareth for the death of three of its members in the Hezbollah bombardment and offered them his condolences. He said that this bombardment was "not intentional and was the result of the difficult circumstances of the war".
Regarding the international position towards the military operation, Nasrallah said that "Hezbollah is not surprised by the positions of the international community". However, he expressed his surprise by some Arab positions that he said "have contributed to the continuation of the war". Nasrallah told the Arab states, "We do not want your hearts and your swords, we only want you to stay neutral".
Nasrallah stressed that "the aim of war is to eliminate the Palestinian issue, the resistance factions and the struggle".
In regards to the internal political situation, he confirmed that "the legitimacy of resistance was taken from the government’s programme, which granted Hezbollah the freedom to resist the Israeli occupation and to liberate the Lebanese territories".
Nasrallah also said that "Hezbollah will be victorious through its steadfastness, the survival of the resistance and the failure to break its will". He added that the "survival of a free and dignified Lebanon in the face of the Israeli force is a victory" and "as long as rockets are fired from Lebanon, all of these things constitute a victory for Lebanon". He also said that, "Hezbollah’s survival until today in the face of Israel is a major victory".
He emphasized that "Hezbollah will only deliver the two captive Israeli soldiers through a prisoners’ exchange deal", saying, "even if the entire universe unites [to release the captive soldiers], this will only take place through indirect negotiations for the exchange of prisoners".
Nasrallah also said that "he is not fighting on behalf of the nation; however, the defeat of Hezbollah is the defeat of the nation and the victory of Hezbollah is a victory for the nation."