(THE TIMES OF ISRAEL) Nasrallah predicted Israel would to destroy Hamas. But he made no announcement of explicit plans to broaden his terror group’s conflict with Israel, as some had feared.
“We have been engaged in this battle since October 8,” he said.
“What is happening now along the Israeli-Lebanese border is significant, and it is not the end.
“I tell the Israelis, if you are considering carrying out a preemptive attack against Lebanon, it will be the most foolish mistake you make in your entire existence.”
As he spoke, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a threat of his own, warning Israel’s “enemies in the north” not to escalate the war. “You cannot imagine how much this will cost you.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, visiting Israel and also speaking at the same time as Nasrallah, said, “We have been very clear from the outset … there not be a second or third front opened in this conflict. President Biden said on day one to anyone thinking of opening a second front, taking advantage of the situation, don’t. And we’ve backed up those words … with practical deeds.”
Nasrallah’s speech had been anticipated and feared as potentially heralding a declaration of war. But he did not go so far, and in some instances appeared to even distance Hezbollah from the conflict.
He claimed he had not known in advance about Hamas’s October 7 plans, and neither had Iran.
Nasrallah boasted that Hezbollah’s military actions on the border had drawn IDF forces away from the war against Hamas.
“Every day, we have been targeting Israeli soldiers, tanks, drones and sensors, the eyes and ears of Israel,” he said.
“Our operations on the border have forced the IDF to divert forces, weapons and equipment from Gaza and the West Bank to the Lebanese front. One-third of the IDF is now amassed on our border,” he claimed.
And he said: “The only factor that will affect our position is the progression of the war. I tell Israel: do not go any further. Many civilians have already died. I promise you: A civilian for a civilian.”
Nasrallah made the false claim that Israeli civilians were killed on October 7 by Israeli forces who were “acting insanely as they were caught by surprise and were ‘drunk’” — and not by Hamas.
“Israel falsely claimed Hamas beheaded babies, but failed to produce any evidence,” he lied, “whereas the whole world has seen images of Palestinian children bombed in Gaza.”
He also said Israel’s declared goal of “eliminating Hamas” was something “it cannot achieve.”
The Hezbollah chief referenced his own past statements that Israeli is weak.
“It needs American and Western support,” he asserted.
For its support, he said, the US “must be held accountable and pay the price for the crimes perpetrated by Israel in Gaza, hence resistance movements have attacked and will continue to attack American forces in Iraq and Syria.”