Netanyahu: Nasrallah embarrassed by Israel's successes

Avi Dichter warned Sunday that Hezbollah may have additional cross-border attack tunnels that Israel has yet to discover.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF, MAARIV ONLINE,
January 27, 2019 10:42
2 minute read.

Hezbollah could 'for years' enter Israel, Nasrallah says after tunnels found, January 27, 2019 (Reuters)

Hezbollah could 'for years' enter Israel, Nasrallah says after tunnels found, January 27, 2019 (Reuters)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a jab at Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday, saying the terrorist leader was “very embarrassed because of our tremendous success in Operation Northern Shield.”

Netanyahu said Israel’s six-week operation that uncovered tunnels dug from Lebanon “completely deprived” Hezbollah of a strategic weapon.

He said Nasrallah is also embarrassed due to looming financial challenges the terrorist organization is facing as a result of sanctions the US has clamped on Iran, which he said are “severely damaging the financing from Iran to its proxies, first and foremost Hezbollah.”

Finally, he said, Nasrallah is embarrassed by Israel’s determination. “Hezbollah has come up against the lethal force of the IDF.”

Netanyahu added regarding Nasrallah that “he has good reasons not to want to meet Israel’s fist, which will come down on his head.”

Netanyahu’s comments were in response to a speech delivered Saturday by Nasrallah in which he threatened the State of Israel.

Earlier in the day, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter warned that Hezbollah may have additional cross-border attack tunnels which Israel has yet to discover along the northern border, after Nasrallah hinted in his speech that Israel has not discovered all of the organization’s tunnels.

Dichter told KAN News that Nasrallah’s long silence leading up to the Saturday night interview showed that the IDF’s Operation Northern Shield, meant to identify and destroy all of the terror tunnels along the Israel-Lebanon border, had been a success.

“I think that we do not need to ask why he spoke,” Dichter said, “but rather why he stayed silent. This months-long silence is not typical – not in Lebanon, not on Arab issues, not in Iran, and surely not when it comes to Israel. His silence was clearly a response to the difficulty that he was in. For years, Hezbollah was building an offensive project – the tunnels – that was very problematic for the State of Israel. And neither Nasrallah nor his people, who kept this secret for years, were ready for the blow that they received from Northern Shield.

“It is a good idea for the IDF and the security services to continue checking as we go forward if there are other tunnels. It is always good and I am saying this as an intelligence expert with a great deal of experience.

“Israel has the means to find other tunnels, just as we discovered the six tunnels thus far,” said Dichter, a former head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). “If these are just part of Hezbollah’s operation that means there is another part, and that should concern us no less.

“But Hezbollah knows that moving from planning to execution of an attack will invite an unprecedented response,” he added.
“We will not allow Hezbollah to have precision missiles. When Hezbollah fires on civilian targets, when Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza fire, this is barbaric and unacceptable to the world and to us.”

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.


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