Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday evening that his group is ready for "open war" with Israel and warned that an Israeli warship operating off southern Beirut will be destroyed.
Speaking defiantly in an audiotape aired on Hizbullah's Al-Manar television, Nasrallah addressed himself to Israelis, saying: "You wanted an open war and we are ready for an open war."
"Look at the warship that has attacked Beirut, while it burns and sinks before your very eyes," Nasrallah said. It was not clear whether he meant that the warship had already been attacked.
The Israeli army said an Israeli naval ship was hit in Lebanese waters, apparently by a rocket. The damage was not serious and there were no injuries, a spokesman said. Officials would not give the vessel's exact location.