Israeli ministers demand assassination of Hezbollah head Nasrallah

Israel Materials 20 January 2008 15:14 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Israeli ministers called Sunday for the assassination of Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla organization leader Hassan Nasrallah, a day after he claimed his group was holding body parts of Israel soldiers killed in the 2006 Lebanon war.

The Ha'aretz daily quoted Interior Minister Meir Shitreet as saying that Israel did not "need to negotiate with (Nasrallah), we need to destroy him," while Absorption Minister Zeev Boim called the Hezbollah head a "sewer rat," and said Israel "must make sure he does not see the light of day."

Nasrallah, in a rare public appearance Saturday, said that Hezbollah had in its possession arms and legs of Israeli soldiers killed in the war, as well as a near complete body.

The Israeli military reacted with outrage to the claims, saying they "constitute a cruel and cynical move by an organization that fragrantly tramples the most fundamental, ethical codes, shows no respect for human rights or the international conventions that govern these matters. "

Nasrallah's speech Saturday, the Israel Defence Force Spokesman said in a statement, "demonstrates that the Hezbollah terrorist organization violates the values that are sacred to all religions including Islam. We call upon all those with the most basic common sense to view him as cowardly and to condemn him."

Ha'aretz quoted "highly-placed sources in Jerusalem" as saying Saturday that Israel would not negotiate with Hezbollah over the return of any body parts the group might be holding, but was instead focused on obtaining the release of two Israeli soldiers, snatched in the July 12 2006 cross-border raid which sparked the war.