Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah display Hezbollah flags during a rally marking the 11th anniversary of the end of Hezbollah's 2006 war with Israel, in the southern village of Khiam, Lebanon August 13, 2017..
(photo credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS)
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has denied reports that the Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist organization is planning for war with Israel this summer, saying that the IDF would not start a military conflict with the group because the Israeli home-front is not prepared.
“What was published in the newspapers about a war with Israel was mistaken and badly timed,” he said, referring to reports by the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Rai that he told Hezbollah commanders to expect to go to war with Israel this summer, a war in which he expected to be killed.
“I personally eliminate any possibility for a Zionist war on Lebanon.”
According to Hezbollah’s al-Manar website, Nasrallah stressed that the leader of the Shi’ite terrorist group hopes to “participate in liberating occupied Palestine and pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem.
“Although the resistance always prepares for the worst possibilities, I personally tend to rule out the possibility of witnessing an Israeli war on Lebanon because the enemy’s home front is not ready for that,” he said Monday during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the founding of Hezbollah’s youth movement.
The Hezbollah leader said that while Israel boasts about its anti-ballistic missile defense system, it cannot defend the country’s citizens against the threat posed by Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal.
“The events of the recent weeks have proved the unpreparedness of the Israeli home front. We saw how two missiles were fired by mistake from Gaza and landed in the Tel Aviv surroundings and then another missile was shot off from Gaza and landed north of Tel Aviv. All the Israeli measures were not able to do anything,” he said referring to a recent round of violence between Hamas and Israel.
“Neither the air force nor the ground forces can settle the battle in favor of the Israeli enemy,” Nasrallah continued, adding that “the Zionists themselves acknowledge that their infantry troops are unable to wage any war.”
Since Israel and Hezbollah last fought in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah has evolved from a guerrilla group to a battle-tested army. With the help of Iran, it has expanded its arsenal to include hundreds of thousands of short-range rockets and several thousand more missiles that can strike deep into Israel.
In addition to its massive arsenal, Hezbollah can mobilize some 30,000 troops with experience in Syria’s 8-year-long civil war. Some of those fighters are expected to try to infiltrate into Israeli border communities to kill or kidnap civilians and soldiers.
In his speech, Nasrallah advised the Palestinian people not to despair about US President Donald Trump’s unveiled peace plan.
“We are in a battle between faith and despair. When the Palestinian people despair, it is possible to impose the ‘deal of the century’ on them. But as long as they have hope, no one can impose anything on them,” he said, adding that “If the Lebanese people would surrender to despair, Trump would give Lebanon to Israel.”
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