14-year-old Nasrallah recounts ordeal during "daring" Baalbeck commando operation
Editor's note: Anderson Cooper interrupted CNN programming to bring dramatic "live news" of an early-morning "daring" commando raid "deep into Lebanon, a "spectacular" assault on a hospital in Baalbech, in which "they've seized three to four high-ranking Hezbollah leaders!" The 300 Israeli commandos fought fiercely for seven hours with anywhere between four and ten Hezbollah fighters (Hezbollah claims the former, Israel the latter; take your pick of ratio, 1:75 or 1:30). The brave soldiers captured Hassan Dib Nasrallah, a construction worker, his family, and Mohamed Nasrallah, a 14-year old shepard, who was later released. They also secured computers with sensitive dental records of the Hezbollah leadership and the database for a sperm bank. Here is Mohamed Nasrallah's story.
Fourteen-year-old Mohammed Hassan Nasrallah found out the hard way when Israeli airborne commandos seized his father and four other men in eastern Lebanon, even though they are unrelated to Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
Mohammed was asleep, together with his father, mother, brothers and sisters, when Israeli elite troops broke into his home on August 2, breaking the doors and shattering the windows of their house in Hay al-Osseira near the eastern city of Baalbeck.
"They started shouting, they took us out one after the other and tied our hands behind our backs," he told an Agence France Presse correspondent in the Bekaa Valley.
Hay al-Osseira, located at the eastern entrance of Baalbeck, a main Hizbullah stronghold, had been abandoned by its residents following Israeli bombardments.
But Mohammed's father, Hassan Diab Nasrallah, did not want to leave his grocery because he was afraid of thieves.
But Wednesday's night visitors did not want to steal food.
"About a dozen soldiers broke into the house. They put the women and children on one side without tying them up. They placed the men on the other side. I was with the men," Mohammed said.
Israel said 200 elite commando troops carried out the operation, the deepest ground incursion into Lebanon since the Jewish state launched its offensive on Lebanon on July 12 when Hizbullah captured two soldiers to secure a prisoner swap.
"They were shouting and mistreating us. My mother interfered and told them to have pity on the children and treat us nicely," Mohammed said.
But one of the Israelis responded: "Shut up or I will kill you," according to Mohammed, who said the serviceman also "fired shots over her head."
Mohammed was taken with his father Hassan Diab, 60, his brother Bilal, 28, the fiance of his sister Hassan al-Borgi, as well as neighbors Ahmad al-Awta, 60, and Mohammed Shakar, 50.
Escorted by a hundred soldiers, they walked for an hour and 20 minutes until they reached the helicopters which had landed in a field.
"All along the road, they were asking questions. They spoke fluent Arabic, some with an accent. They asked us if we were Hizbullah members, and if we were related to Nasrallah," Mohammed said.
The family name Nasrallah is common in Lebanon, both in Muslim and Christian communities.
But the Hizbullah chief is from the southern village of Bazourieh, and is not related to the Nasrallah family from the eastern Baalbeck region.
The Israeli soldiers boarded the men on the helicopters, then one of them turned to Mohammed and kicked him, he said.
"They untied me, kicked me in the back and told me to go away," he said.
It was 2:20 am when the helicopters flew out of the region, with the captives whom the Jewish state said were Hizbullah members.
"I started running with my slippers. There was an armed drone which was firing around me. I was not hit, but I was injured by a flying piece of rock in my back. I hid in the first empty house that I saw," he said.
When the shots ceased around 6:00 am, Mohammed left the hideout and rushed to his uncle's house in Baalbeck. He found his mother, Um Bilal, who now only has one hope: that the International Committee for the Red Cross can give her news of her husband's whereabouts.(AFP)
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