Hezbollah leader warns Israel against waging war on Lebanon

AFP , Wednesday 3 Jan 2024

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel Wednesday against waging war on Lebanon, a day after a strike blamed on Israel killed Hamas's number two in the group's southern Beirut suburbs stronghold.

Hassan Nasrallah
Supporters of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group raise their fists and cheer, as they listen to a speech by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speaking via a video link during a ceremony to mark the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Iran s Quds force General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024. AP


"If the enemy thinks of waging a war on Lebanon, we will fight without restraint, without rules, without limits and without restrictions," Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

"We are not afraid of war," he added.

During nearly three months of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the Israeli army has also been exchanging cross-border fire with Hezbollah, which is allied with the Palestinian militants and Iran.

Lebanese authorities and Hamas accused Israel of killing Salah al-Aruri in Beirut's southern suburbs on Tuesday with six others.

Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari did not directly comment on Aruri's killing but said the military was "highly prepared for any scenario" in its aftermath.

The attack sparked fears of a broader conflagration because Aruri is the most high-profile figure to be killed since fighting in Gaza began in October, and his death came in the first strike on the Lebanese capital since hostilities started.

Nasrallah described the attack as a "major and dangerous crime" which "will not go unanswered and unpunished" -- repeating a threat made by Hezbollah on Tuesday.

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