Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah warned that any Israeli assassination in Lebanese territory would "lead to a strong reaction," in response to reports that Israel could target Hamas officials in the country, during an interview with al-Manar TV on Monday evening.
Nasrallah referenced recent statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing Iran of financing terrorist attacks in the West Bank, stating "The Israeli enemy, in the face of the escalation of resistance in the West Bank, fled to accuse Iran and to pretend that what is happening there is an Iranian plan and that the Palestinians there are tools, and this is foolishness."
"The battle in the West Bank is with the Palestinian people. Yes, the Islamic Republic supports the oppressed Palestinian people, but the resistance project is a Palestinian project."
The Hezbollah leader also downplayed the threats of targeted assassinations against terrorists in the Iran-backed axis of factions in the region, saying "The threat of assassination is not new, and throughout the conflict with the Israeli enemy, it carried out assassinations. Were these assassinations able to shake the resistance?"
"These threats do not make the resistance recede. Neither the threat nor the implementation of the threat will weaken the resistance, but will increase its determination, presence, and strength."
"The enemy must admit that he is in an existential dilemma, and he will not find solutions, no matter how his leadership meets, and if they consult all the experts of the world, they will not be able to get out of their predicament," added Nasrallah. "The only solution for the enemy entity is to leave Palestine to its people and owners, otherwise the fighting will continue generation after generation."
The Hezbollah leader warned that any assassination of a Lebanese, Palestinian, Iranian, Syrian, or any other person would lead to a "strong reaction."
"It cannot be tolerated, and we will not allow Lebanon to open the arena for assassinations. We will not accept changing the rules of engagement that have existed since 2006, and the Israelis must understand this matter well."
Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy head of Hamas's political bureau who has often been tied to the terrorist movement's operations in the West Bank, has been highlighted in media reports as a potential target for assassination due to his role in West Bank terrorism. Arouri has been residing in Lebanon as of late.
On Monday, the Lebanese Nidaa al-Watan newspaper reported that an intelligence delegation from a "friendly Arab country" planned to arrive in Beirut on Monday and intended to "advise" Hamas to have Arouri leave Lebanon due to the tensions. The delegation hopes to help prevent an escalation between Israel and Hamas in the region.
Nasrallah accuses UNIFIL of wanting to spy for Israel
Nasrallah also referenced efforts to renew the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), stating "the UN Security Council does not see what Israel is doing in Lebanon. Rather, they see how southern Lebanon does not constitute a threat to the enemy. Therefore, they want UNIFIL to be spies for the Israelis and they want UNIFIL where the Israeli drone, spy, or camera cannot reach."
Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib rejected a draft resolution to renew the mandate over the weekend, saying that it "does not indicate the necessity and importance of UNIFIL coordinating its operations with the Lebanese government, represented by the army, as stipulated in the UNIFIL's operations agreement known as Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)."
Bou Habib also wants an article of the resolution authorizing UNIFIL to act "without prior authorization" and "independently."