Nasrallah: Hezbollah not picking a fight

Feb. 28, 2013 at 10:46 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said the group's armed wing is preoccupied with taking a defensive posture against Israel.

"We don't want to attack anyone, or take over anything," he was quoted by Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star as saying. "We are busy trying to remain prepared for what Israel is planning for Lebanon, the region and Palestine,"

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, meanwhile, said he was frustrated that some lawmakers in Beirut were giving Hezbollah's fighters tacit control over southern Lebanon's security.

Nasrallah, however, brushed off allegations that Hezbollah fighters were bent on military conflict.

"We are very, very keen on preventing confrontation but no one should make any miscalculations with us," he said.

Nasrallah, who rarely appears in public, appeared on television to challenge claims he had been taken to a hospital in Iran for medical treatment. He also denied allegations that Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem had been killed by the rebel Free Syrian Army.

Washington and its allies in Europe are pressing for tighter restrictions on Hezbollah after it was tied to a Bulgarian attack on Israeli tourists last year.

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