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3 Jan, 2024 21:51

Hezbollah ‘not afraid of war’ with Israel – leader

There will be no limits to the fighting if Lebanon is attacked, Hassan Nasrallah has said
Hezbollah ‘not afraid of war’ with Israel – leader

Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the Shia militia Hezbollah, said on Wednesday that his group did not fear confrontation with Israel and that any attack on Lebanon would be met with an overwhelming response. His comments came after the assassination of Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut.

Hezbollah has described the drone strike that killed al-Arouri as a “serious assault on Lebanon” and vowed it would not pass “without response and punishment.” Israel has not officially taken responsibility for the attack.

In his speech, Nasrallah stopped short of announcing revenge attacks, but said that the killing of al-Arouri was a “dangerous” act that would be avenged.

“If the enemy thinks about waging war against Lebanon, then our fighting will be with no ceiling, with no limits, with no rules. And they know what I mean,” Nasrallah said. “We are not afraid of war. We don’t fear it. We are not hesitant.”

Nasrallah insisted that Israel has been dealt a “strategic defeat” since the October 7 incursion by Hamas, arguing that West Jerusalem has not been able to defeat Hamas in Gaza and was losing “thousands” of troops in clashes with Hezbollah on the Lebanese border.

The carnage in Gaza showed the world the “ugly” reality of the US, whose support for Israel is preventing the war from ending, Nasrallah claimed.

“Who is doing the killing in Gaza is the American [administration] and the American decision and the American policy and the American missile and the American bomb,” Al Jazeera quoted him as saying.

Nasrallah also praised the Houthis for their “effective” blockade of the Red Sea, but said that the Yemeni faction was acting on its own and not in coordination with other “resistance” movements in the region.

Israel declared war on Hamas after the Gaza-based Palestinian group’s incursion on October 7, which saw 1,200 Israelis killed and over 200 taken captive. Since then, almost 22,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, according to the local health ministry.