Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Hasan Shaaban)
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that the Lebanese Shiite group is stronger than ever and that Israel is aware of Hezbollah’s capability to invade the Galilee.
Speaking during a ceremony to mark"Martyrs Remembrance Day," Nasrallah said the group’s power has been increasing “daily” even under “unfavorable conditions” and have reached a level where they are more powerful than they were 20 years ago.
“The resistance gained its strength and power, and achieved victories in bad circumstances imposed by the US, Israel, and their allies in the region the Takifiris, Saudi alignment, and the Emirates,” he said.
The leader of the Shiite Lebanese terror group spoke for over an hour in the third speech in several weeks after months of silence and said there are between “35-40 resistance axes around the world” with people who are ready to sacrifice themselves for Hezbollah.
According to Nasrallah, Israel is deterred from launching a war against Hezbollah.
"There are talks within the Israeli enemy army that they do not have the ability to enter a new war, especially on the ground,"
Nasrallah said, referring to the scathing June report by former IDF Ombudsman Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick who said that the IDF’s ground forces were not prepared for war.
“They don’t trust their army, but we trust our resistance. They are certain that the resistance can enter the Galilee but they are uncertain that their army is capable of entering Lebanon, and this is a great transformation. The concern today is in the Israeli settlements not in the south. This is the deterrence equation and it is of great importance,” he said.
Israel and Hezbollah last fought a war – the Second Lebanon War – in 2006, and has since then morphed from a guerrilla group to an army with a set hierarchy and procedures. With the help of Iran, it has rebuilt its arsenal since 2006 and has hundreds of thousands of short-range rockets and several thousand more missiles that can reach deeper into Israel.
In addition to their massive arsenal Hezbollah also has the ability to mobilize close to 30,000 battle-hardened fighters, some of whom were expected to try to infiltrate into Israeli communities on the border to kill or kidnap civilians and soldiers.
Israel launched Operation Northern Shield in early December to discover and destroy tunnels dug by the Lebanese Shiite terror group into northern Israel. It announced the end of the operation in mid-January after finding six cross-border attack tunnels, including one stretching hundreds of meters from the southern Lebanese village of Ramiya and infiltrated several dozen meters into northern Israel.
While the military announced the end of the operation, it noted that it “is simultaneously monitoring several locations where Hezbollah is digging underground structures which have yet to cross into Israel.”
It will also continue a “broad defense effort” along the Lebanese border to ensure that Hezbollah does not try to dig future tunnels into Israel by integrating various means such as the ongoing construction of the border wall with Lebanon.
Nasrallah is believed to have been living in a secure bunker, apparently located in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiya, for several years in order to prevent an assassination attempt.
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