Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday sent an apparent message to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, warning, "Our enemies should know that we will aggressively retaliate to any attack against us."
Netanyahu made the comments at an awards ceremony for outstanding Mossad employees just two days after Nasrallah warned Israel that Hezbollah would retaliate for the assassination of its operative Samir Kuntar. Kuntar was killed in a missile attack in a Damascus suburb last week that Hezbollah has accused Israel of perpetrating.
Netanyahu discussed the changing role of the Mossad amid new threats facing Israel.
"Because of the rise of extremist Islam, we find ourselves...in a world war against two large factions of extremist Islam which spread across the globe," he said, in reference to Sunni extremist groups such as ISIS and Shi'ite extremist groups such as Hezbollah and its patron Iran.
"We are obligated to deal with these threats," the prime minister stated. "These two threats are linked to one another."
Netanyahu's comments came after Nasrallah said Sunday that Israelis are "hiding like rats along the border
...They are worried, and they should be worried along the border and inside Israel. Their threats will not benefit them."
“The retaliation to Samir’s assassination will inevitably come,” Nasrallah said, adding that Hezbollah would not tolerate the “blood of our jihadist fighters and brothers to be shed anywhere in this world.”
Nasrallah also referenced the wave of terrorism in Israel.
Hezbollah chief Nasrallah: Israelis hiding like rats along border, Kuntar revenge will come
“Those who are staging stabbing operations in Palestine know that they would either be martyred or jailed,” Nasrallah said. “As we commemorate Kuntar, we must revive the spirit of sacrifice, because this is a key condition for the rise of the people, the persistence of resistance and the creation of the future,” he added.
Nasrallah said Netanyahu “has sought to obtain international recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights under the excuse of the Syrian conflict.”
“When the activities of the resistance started near the Golan, Israel grew very anxious, and it started retaliating in a disproportionate manner to any shelling or gunfire on the border, even if it did not cause casualties,” Nasrallah said.
With regard to Israel’s purported role in the killing of Kuntar, Nasrallah said Israel decided “eliminating such an important target is worth the adventure and the sacrifice.
“They thought that Kuntar is not that important to Hezbollah,” Nasrallah added.