Hezbollah threatens retaliation if Israel launches offensive in Lebanon

Hezbollah threatens retaliation if Israel launches offensive in Lebanon
Hezbollah threatens retaliation if Israel launches offensive in Lebanon

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah responded with strong words to Israel’s approval of an operational plan against Lebanon. He also issued a strong warning to Cyprus.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon has threatened large-scale attacks on the neighboring country in the event of an Israeli offensive. “The enemy knows full well that we have prepared for the worst (…) and that no place (…) will be spared from our rockets,” said Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday. Against the backdrop of Hezbollah’s ongoing attacks on Israel for months, the Israeli army had previously approved an operational plan for an offensive in Lebanon.

Nasrallah also threatened Cyprus, warning the EU country against allowing Israel’s army to use its airports and bases in the event of war. “Opening Cypriot airports and bases to the Israeli enemy to attack Lebanon would mean that the Cypriot government is part of the war,” the Hezbollah chief said in a televised address.

Hezbollah chief speaks of receiving “new weapons”

Nasrallah also warned that Hezbollah has so far only used “part” of its weapons in the conflict with Israel. “We have received new weapons,” he said, without giving details.

Meanwhile, tensions on the border between Israel and Lebanon continued to rise. The Israeli army announced on Wednesday that “around 15 missiles” had been fired from Lebanon at the area around the town of Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel. Some of them were intercepted by air defenses. The army responded with artillery fire on the launch pads.

The Israeli military said it had already attacked Hezbollah militia positions in southern Lebanon on Wednesday night. Lebanese state media reported Israeli attacks on several areas in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah said four of its fighters had been killed. In retaliation, it fired “dozens of Katyusha rockets and artillery shells” at a barracks in Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel.

The Israeli army leadership had decided on an operational plan for a possible offensive in Lebanon on Tuesday. High-ranking army representatives had “approved and released” an offensive in Lebanon during a joint situation assessment in the Northern Command, the army announced. The troops’ operational readiness would be further increased. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz threatened Hezbollah with its destruction in a “comprehensive war”.

UN criticizes warfare

Since the beginning of the war between Israel and the radical Islamic Hamas more than eight months ago, Hezbollah, which is supported by Iran and allied with Hamas, has been firing rockets and drones at Israel. Tens of thousands of people have since been forced to flee their homes. Israel is responding to the shelling with increased attacks on Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon.

Meanwhile, fighting between the Israeli army and Hamas in the Gaza Strip continued on Wednesday. Witnesses and the Hamas Civil Defense Authority reported Israeli air strikes in the west of the city of Rafah in the south of the Palestinian territory. According to rescue workers, at least seven people were killed in drone attacks and shelling. The militant Islamic Jihad, which is allied with Hamas, said its fighters were fighting with the Israeli army in the west of Rafah.

There were also some night-time fighting in the centre of the Gaza Strip. Witnesses reported artillery fire and gunfire in the Seitun district of Gaza City.

Meanwhile, the UN has once again criticized Israel’s conduct of the war in the Gaza Strip. A report published on Wednesday by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, accused Israel of “indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks” in at least six cases during the first two months of the war. The use of “heavy bombs” in densely populated areas “may” have violated international law.

The war in the Gaza Strip was triggered by a major attack on Israel by the ruling Hamas on October 7. According to Israeli sources, the Islamists killed 1,194 people and took 251 others hostage in the Gaza Strip.

In response, Israel has been conducting massive military operations in the Gaza Strip since October. According to figures from the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, which cannot be independently verified, more than 37,390 people have been killed so far.

Source: Stern

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