Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has said he would not have ordered the capture of two Israeli soldiers if he had known it would lead to such a war.
“Had we known that the kidnapping of the soldiers would have led to this, we would definitely not have done it,” he said in an interview on Lebanese TV…”We did not think that there was a 1% chance that the kidnapping would lead to a war of this scale and magnitude,” Sheikh Nasrallah said.
“Now you ask me if this was 11 July and there was a 1% chance that the kidnapping would lead to a war like the one that has taken place, would you go ahead with the kidnapping?
“I would say no, definitely not, for humanitarian, moral, social, security, military and political reasons. Neither I, Hezbollah, prisoners in Israeli jails and nor the families of the prisoners would accept it.” [source]
Nasrallah actually said something along these lines over a month ago but no one was listening at the time. Like it or not, this statement is an admission to a move that was purely adventurism on the behalf of Lebanon and the region. I do not think it was intended that way, in fact this was quite clear from the get go. Kidnappings and border skirmishes between Hizballah and Israel were nothing new and Hizballah acted based on the track record of an expected proportionate response. Before July these kidnappings between the two entities were the cost of doing business; it was an exchange to avoid losing face. That being said they should have let them go when Israel acted out of line and none of this excuses Israel’s brutal role in the conflict.
I’m not sure if Nasrallah is saying it was a mistake, if it was risky, that he regrets it or simply that Israel did not play fair. In my opinion, all of the above is true.