UPDATED: Hezbollah head says not seeking new war but warns Israel

AFP , Friday 30 Jan 2015

File Photo: Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters in Beirut's suburbs November 14, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Friday his Shia militant group is not seeking confrontation with Israel but does not fear a new war or taking the conflict beyond Lebanon's borders.

Its response to any future Israeli attack will no longer be limited to Lebanese territory, he warned in an address via video link to thousands of supporters gathered in Hezbollah's southern Beirut stronghold.

He said Hezbollah would no longer respect "the rules of engagement".

"We do not want war... but the resistance is militarily ready, and we are not afraid of war," Nasrallah said, using the term "resistance" to refer to Hezbollah.

His address came two days after Hezbollah carried out a missile strike that killed two Israeli soldiers in south Lebanon's occupied Shebaa Farms area on the border.

The strike was in retaliation for a January 18 Israeli air strike inside Syria that killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general.

"I want to be clear: the resistance will no longer recognise any such thing as the rules of engagement, or of confrontation," said Nasrallah, appearing both defiant and relaxed.

"It is our right -- legally, in human terms and morally -- to face the enemy anywhere, any time and in any way we deem appropriate," he warned.



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