Hezbollah vows a response to any Israeli air strikes on Lebanon
Aug 8, 2021: Hassan Nasrallah, head of Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah movement, vowed to respond “appropriately and proportionately” to any Israeli airstrikes on Lebanon after a border flare up broke out this week.
Israel launched its first air strike in 15 years on Lebanese territory on Thursday, after which Hezbollah called for rocket fire on the Jewish state the next day.
“Our response was linked to Israeli attacks in southern Lebanon for the first time in 15 years,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech before the anniversary of the end of the last war with Israel in 2006.
“We wanted to tell the enemy that any Israeli air strike on Lebanon would inevitably respond, albeit appropriately and proportionately, because we want to achieve the goal of protecting our country,” he added.
Nasrallah called the airstrikes “extremely dangerous developments” this week, but said Hezbollah did not want a war.
Echoing similar comments from the Jewish state this week, he said, “We are not looking for war and we do not want to go to war, but we are ready for it.”
Prior to Thursday, Israel’s last air strike on Lebanon was in 2014, when warplanes hit an area near the Syrian border. Hezbollah rockets fired at Israeli positions on Friday morning, prompting Israeli retaliatory fire, warning UN peacekeepers of an “extremely dangerous situation.”
But the Jewish state reiterated that it “does not want to go to full war.”
The United States on Friday urged the Lebanese government to stop Hezbollah from firing rockets at Israel.
The 2006 conflict, which lasted 33 days in the summer, killed 1,200 people in Lebanon, most of them civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers. It ended on August 14, 2006 with a UN-backed ceasefire in which Lebanese troops were deployed in the border areas.
Hezbollah is the only party that has not disarmed Lebanon since the 1975-1990 civil war. It has long been subject to US sanctions and has been blacklisted as a “terrorist” organization, but the Shiite group is also a powerful political player with seats in Lebanon’s parliament.
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