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Hezbollah chief threatens Israel as tensions increase on northern border

Nasrallah demands Israel withdraw from disputed areas along border

Hezbollah supporters raise their fists to salute the party leader Hassan Nasrallah as he appears on a giant screen during a televised speech to mark the 7th anniversary of the death of top military commander Mustafa Badreddine, May 12, 2023 (Marwan Naamani/DPA via Reuters)

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech on Wednesday warning that Hezbollah operatives would respond to any action against the terror organization's outposts in the disputed border area. 

In a speech commemorating the 17th anniversary of the end of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Nasrallah said if Israel acts against the tents on the border, “we won’t sit in silence.” 

Nasrallah also claimed that the remaining outpost was set up on Lebanese territory. 

“We put our tent on Lebanese land, and it is Lebanese land with the recognition of the Lebanese state. The Israelis have not dared to take action against it. Our operatives have their directions in the event of an Israeli attack on the tents,” Nasrallah said during the speech. 

He also accused Israel of trying to illegally take the town of Ghajar. 

“Starting last year, the enemy raised a fence to annex the northern part of the town of Ghajar, which is Lebanese territory with international recognition…and turned it into a tourist area under the silence of the United Nations,” Nasrallah said. 

"It [Ghajar] is Lebanese territory which is occupied by Israel. Hezbollah's position is clear – there will not be a quiet solution to this issue. Israel must return Ghajar, and it is the responsibility of Hezbollah to get it back. We will not abandon Ghajar,” Nasrallah stated. 

Shortly before Nasrallah’s speech, IDF troops prevented a group of Lebanese suspects from damaging the border fence.

The group, believed to be Hezbollah operatives, was repelled following the explosion of a non-lethal charge and by IDF soldiers firing warning shots into the air. 

In his speech, Nasrallah claimed that Israel is afraid to take military action against Hezbollah. 

During an interview with Israel's i24 news on Wednesday, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke about the Second Lebanon War, which took place while he was premier. 

He said that the operation was done to restore “deterrence against Hezbollah.” 

“What I knew then, which disturbed me for quite a time, was that we lost deterrence against Hezbollah years before, and we had not restored it," Olmert said in the interview. 

He claimed the operation was successful because “for the last 17 years, Hezbollah hasn’t done anything.” 

Olmert addressed the current political situation in Israel and how what impact it has had on the border situation with Hezbollah. 

“Israel has been weakened by the actions of the government, there’s no question about it," Olmert said, adding that, when faced with a common threat, Israel would stand united.

“I want to advise everyone: In the event that Hezbollah tries to push it one step further, they'll be met by a unified country with a strong army,” Olmert said. 

The former prime minister mentioned a statement from 2006, in which Nasrallah appeared to express regret over provoking the confrontation. 

“And I'm not certain Nasrallah is prepared to go through a similar experience to the one he had [in 2006], when he said that had he known what would be the reaction of Israel then, even 1% of it, he wouldn’t have started [the war]. I suggest to him to take into consideration that this [an Israeli reaction] would be even much harsher and a more devastating reaction on the behalf of Israel.” 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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