Hezbollah has body parts from slain Israeli soldiers, the Lebanese militia’s leader said.
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, who has been in hiding since the 2006 Lebanon war, emerged Saturday to attend a Shi’ite festival in Beirut and taunt Israel in a televised speech.
“Oh Zionists, your army left the body parts of your soldiers in our villages and fields,” he said, adding that the gathered remains include heads, torsos, legs and arms.
The remarks appeared aimed at pressuring Israel into closing deal for the return of two soldiers abducted by Hezbollah in June 2006, though Hezbollah did not mention them specifically and they are still assumed to be alive.
Hezbollah is also at pains to project power given current political tensions in Lebanon.
Israeli media quoted military sources as saying that the remains of soldiers killed in Lebanon were properly collected for burial.
Israel’s military put out a rare statement deploring Nasrallah’s speech, calling it a “cruel and cynical move by an organization that flagrantly tramples the most fundamental ethical codes, shows no respect for human rights or the international conventions that govern these matters.”