Nasrallah admits miscalculation

Haaretz:

Hezbollah would not have abducted two Israel Defense Forces soldiers on July 12 had it known that the action would lead to war in Lebanon, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday.

"We did not think, even one percent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I had known on July 11... that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not," he said in an interview with Lebanon's New TV station.

Nasrallah also said he did not believe there would be a second round of fighting with Israel, and that Hezbollah would adhere to the cease-fire despite what he called Israeli provocation.

Nasrallah said that Israel was trying to press new demands such as the deployment of United Nations forces at Beirut airport, at Lebanese ports and on Lebanon's border with Syria.

But he added: "Their displaced people are going back and they have started to rebuild the north. Someone who acts like that doesn't seem to be going to war. We are not heading to a second round."

The Hezbollah leader also said that negotiations on the release of the abducted IDF soldiers have already begun.

...
He does not sound like a man who thought he won in this interview. In terms of Israel imposing a painful lesson on Hezballah for abducting soldiers as hostages, the war appears to be a success. For Lebanon there is no question that the lesson of not controlling Hezballah has been painful and costly. Perhaps the country is ready to take for itself the decision of when it wants to go to war with a more powerful neighbor.

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