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Nasrallah: ‘historic opportunity’ for Lebanon to liberate its lands occupied by Israel

“The answer is inevitable. The leader of pro-Iranian Hezbollah in Lebanon confirmed Friday that his movement will “respond” on the “battlefield” to an Israeli strike that targeted his stronghold and killed the number two of Palestinian Hamas. The attack on Beirut’s southern suburbs is “serious and will not go unanswered,” Hassan Nasrallah warned during a televised speech.

Tuesday’s strike was the first since October 7 on the outskirts of the Lebanese capital. Israel, which did not claim this, was immediately singled out by Hamas, Hezbollah and the Lebanese government. A US Department of Defense spokesman also said that it was indeed an “Israeli strike.”

“670 operations against Israel”

“We cannot remain silent about a violation of this magnitude, because it will mean that the whole of Lebanon will be at risk” in the future, Hassan Nasrallah stressed. “Our fighters from all border areas (…) will respond to this dangerous violation,” he added. Since the violence began almost three months ago, militants from the Shiite Islamist group have carried out 670 operations against Israel and attacked “all border positions,” Hassan Nasrallah stressed.

Clashes between Israel and Hezbollah, which claims to act in solidarity with Hamas in Gaza, are unprecedented since the two fought in 2006, although for now they are limited to border areas in southern Lebanon. The violence in Lebanon has killed 175 people, including 129 Hezbollah fighters, as well as more than 20 civilians, according to AFP. Nine soldiers and five civilians were killed in northern Israel, authorities said.

“Historic Opportunity”

Hezbollah’s leader accused Israel of downplaying the number of soldiers killed and wounded by its powerful force on the northern front, saying “it was part of psychological warfare.” Regular attacks carried out by his formation have put Lebanon in a position of strength in the event of a settlement of the border dispute with Israel “after the end of the aggression against the Gaza Strip.”

“We now have a historic opportunity to completely liberate every square centimeter of our Lebanese land,” the Hezbollah leader added, referring to areas still occupied by Israel after its withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Friday that Israel “prefers the diplomatic path over the military” to restore calm on the northern border, “but we are close to the turning point of the hourglass,” the minister said in a video.

Western emissaries, keen to avoid border conflict between the two countries, have proposed resolving the border dispute between Lebanon and Israel to bring about a cessation of hostilities, according to Western diplomatic sources.

Source: Le Parisien

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