Israel 'failed' in Gaza and will negotiate: Hezbollah chief

AFP , Sunday 14 Jan 2024

The head of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement said on Sunday that Israel had failed to achieve its objectives in Gaza and this will force it to negotiate.

Hassan Nasrallah delivers a televised speech
A man waves a Hezbollah movement flag as its leader Hassan Nasrallah delivers a televised speech in Kherbet Selm in southern Lebanon, marking the one week memorial since the killing top field commander Wissam Tawil. AFP


"What has the enemy achieved in 100 days, other than killing?" Hassan Nasrallah asked in a televised speech.

"It has not achieved any real victory or semblance of victory. It has failed in achieving its declared, half-declared and implicit objectives," he added, on the 100th day of the Israeli war on Gaza.

Nasrallah's speech commemorated the death of a senior Hezbollah commander, Wissam Tawil, killed by Israel in southern Lebanon on January 8.

The war in the Gaza Strip was triggered after Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7 as Israel vowed to destroy Hamas and launched a relentless bombardment and ground offensive in the enclave which has killed at least 23,968 people, 70% of them women and children, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Since the war began there have been near daily exchanges of fire across the Israel-Lebanon border between Hamas ally Hezbollah and the Israeli military.

At the same time, Yemen's Houthi rebels, also backed by Iran, have attacked shipping they say is linked to Israel, in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

And in Iraq and Syria, pro-Iran fighters have ramped up their attacks against American forces and others in an anti-jihadist coalition.

"If this path continues, be it in Gaza, the occupied West Bank, Lebanon, Yemen or Iraq, the enemy government will have no other choice but to accept the conditions of the resistance in Gaza, thereby putting an end to the aggression against Gaza and entering into negotiations," said Nasrallah, whose organisation is sanctioned as a "terrorist" group by the United States.

The Hezbollah leader also denounced air strikes by the US and Britain, which on Friday hit scores of rebel targets in Yemen in response to the Houthis' attacks on shipping.

"What the Americans did in the Red Sea will harm the security of all maritime navigation," Nasrallah said.

In more than three months of violence on the Israel-Lebanon border, 190 people have been killed in Lebanon, according to an AFP tally.

On Sunday, Israeli authorities announced that two Israelis had been killed by a missile fired from Lebanon that hit a house near the border.

Israel's military also said it killed three gunmen who had crossed the frontier and "fired at the forces".

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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