June 19, 2024

Nowhere will be spared in case of full-blown war – Hezbollah chief warns Israel


Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday warned “no place” in Israel would be spared in case of a full-blown war and threatened nearby Cyprus if it opened its airports and bases to Israel.

“The enemy knows well that we have prepared ourselves for the worst… and that no place… will be spared our rockets,” Nasrallah said in a televised address.

Israel must expect “us on land, by sea and by air”, he said.

“The enemy really fears that the resistance will penetrate Galilee” in northern Israel, he said, adding that this was possible “in the context of a war that could be imposed on Lebanon”.

Israel and Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese movement allied with Hamas, have traded near-daily cross-border fire since the Palestinian militant group’s October 7 attack on Israel which triggered war in the Gaza Strip.

The exchanges have escalated in recent weeks, and the Israeli military said Tuesday that “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon were approved and validated”.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Israel Katz had warned of Hezbollah’s destruction in a “total war”.

“Opening Cypriot airports and bases to the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon would mean that the Cypriot government is part of the war, and the resistance will deal with it as part of the war,” Nasrallah threatened.

Cyprus has good relations with both Israel and Lebanon, and lies close to the coast of both countries.

Britain has retained sovereign control over two base areas in its former colony Cyprus under the terms of the treaties that granted the island independence in 1960.

Nasrallah also warned that his group had only used “a part of” its weapons since October.

“We have obtained new weapons,” Nasrallah said, without elaborating.

“We have developed some of our weapons… and we are keeping others for the days that will come,” he said.

“Years ago we talked about 100,000 fighters… today, we have greatly exceeded” that number, Nasrallah said.

The Israel-Lebanon clashes have killed at least 478 people in Lebanon, most of them fighters but also including 93 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israeli authorities say at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed in the country’s north.