The leader of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, Hasan Nasrallah, stated today that the possible escalation of its cross-border clashes with Israel will depend on what happens in the Gaza Strip and how the Jewish State acts on the border with Lebanon. “The front of Lebanon and its escalation depend on two things: the first is the development of events in Gaza and the second is how the Zionist enemy behaves towards Lebanon,” the cleric explained in his first public speech since the beginning of the war Gaza and the subsequent clashes on the Lebanese border.
In a long intervention lasting more than an hour, Nasrallah considered it possible that his crossed attacks with Israel end up triggering an “extensive war”, while both sides continue to be engaged in intense cross-border clashes for almost a month. In that sense, he defended Hezbollah’s actions on Israel’s northern border since the escalation of violence in Gaza began and the continuous bombings that have occurred uninterruptedly since last October 8, operations that have caused “concern” to Israeli military leaders. “These operations have made military leaders concerned that this front is going to war extensive. This can happen and they have to take it into account,” the clergyman stated in his speech.
Among the expectations of this speech, which was followed in Lebanon with enormous interest, was that of a possible “War declaration” or the announcement of an extension of hostilities, a step that the cleric, however, failed to take. “We must all be ready for all possibilities,” he said, before noting in a cryptic tone “with all transparency, clarity and ambiguity” that all options “in the front of Lebanon are openon the table and we can resort to them at any time.” Si said, however, that his group “already entered into battle” against Israel on October 8, and pointed out that what is happening on the Lebanese front “is very important” for the fight in Gaza, although “one can say that what is happening is modest.
“Since there have been (Israeli) military bases and (Israeli) settlers on the border with Lebanon, what has happened since October 8 has not happened. All enemy bases they are targets of operations of attacks (…) That is why there is this group of martyrs (own casualties),” said Nasrallah. In that sense, the Hezbollah leader indicated that the group’s strategy of “escalating operations” against Israel has served to Israel has to bring military personnel to the border with Lebanon, and thereby partly relieve the pressure on the Gaza Strip, under siege and indiscriminate bombing for weeks. “Now the entire Israeli army is on the border with Lebanon. Half of its naval force is also on our border, and a quarter of the air force now also dedicated to us. That is one of the direct fruits of the action“he said. In addition, he highlighted that “thousands of inhabitants of the Israeli colonies abandoned them.”