Hezbollah in first response since Syria strike: Zionists will fail in attempts to set new rules

Deputy leader Naim Qassem says alleged Israeli strike is "an attempt to lay the foundation for a new equation in the framework of our struggle with them."

By REUTERS
January 25, 2015 15:07
2 minute read.
Hezbollah

Lebanon's Hezbollah deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

BEIRUT - An alleged Israeli attack which killed several prominent members of Lebanon's Hezbollah last week was an attempt by Israel to set "new rules" in the conflict between the two foes, Hezbollah's deputy leader said at a gathering to commemorate those who died.

Sheik Naim Qassem's comments were the first reaction from the group's leadership to the missile attack in the Syrian province of Quneitra near the Israeli border.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Among those killed was an Iranian officer and the son of Hezbollah's late military chief. Israel has reportedly struck Hezbollah in Syria several times since the conflict there began, hitting weapons deliveries, but the group did not acknowledge these attacks.

However, the prominence of those killed in the latest raid will make it difficult to ignore for Hezbollah, putting the group under pressure to retaliate and also undermining a ceasefire between Israel and Syria.

"It is a Zionist attempt to lay the foundation for a new (military) equation in the framework of our struggle with them and achieve by these strikes what they could not achieve in war ... But Israel is too weak to be able to draw new steps or new rules," he told mourners.

Qassem did not elaborate but hinted that the group would respond. He said Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah would give the group's formal stance in the coming days.

"We will continue our jihad and we will be where we should be without (allowing) anything to stand in our way," he said.



Hezbollah, which fought a 34-day war against Israel in 2006, could attack Israel from its Lebanon stronghold, hit Israeli interests abroad, or attack Israeli posts in the Golan Heights.

All options could trigger another all-out war or even a wider conflict between Israel and Syria.

Fighters from Iran-backed Hezbollah have been fighting alongside government forces in Syria's civil war and have helped turn the tide in favor of President Bashar Assad.

The group says it is fighting in Syria in part to prevent Islamist militant fighters, such as al-Qaida's Syrian wing, the Nusra Front, and Islamic State, from advancing into Lebanon.

Speaking to Army Radio, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon declined to confirm or deny Israel had carried out the attack, but said reinforcements had been sent to the North.

"Given what was prevented on the Golan Heights, what was exposed is an Iranian effort, in partnership with Hezbollah, to open a front with us on the Golan Heights," he said.

"They started with rockets and a few bombs. We understood that they apparently want to upgrade it to high-quality and far more significant terrorist attacks ...," the minister said.

Related Content

Palestinian flags flutter at a protest against the Nation-State Law in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv
August 19, 2018
Israeli Arabs want to set July 19 as Apartheid Day

By GIL HOFFMAN