Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said Monday that his fighters achieved a "strategic, historic victory" against Israel - a declaration that prompted celebratory gunfire across the Lebanese capital.
Nasrallah said Hizbullah "came out victorious in a war in which big Arab armies were defeated (before)." He also said now was not the time to debate the disarmament of his fighters. He added that the issue of disarmament cannot be resolved "in haste... or by intimidation, pressure or provocation."
Nasrallah called Monday "a great day." "We are today before a strategic, historic victory, without exaggeration," he said in a taped speech on Hizbullah's al-Manar TV.
Nasrallah said the massive destruction inflicted by Israel was an expression of its "failure and impotency." And he promised Hizbullah would help the Lebanese people rebuild. "The enemy destroyed 15,000 housing units in the south, the Bekaa and the southern suburbs," Nasrallah said. "From tomorrow, ... we will pay compensation, a certain amount of money for every family to rent for one year, plus furniture for those whose houses were totally destroyed."