Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Hezbollah against ‘testing’ Israel and ruled out a temporary ceasefire in Gaza until hostages are released.
This comes after the terror group chief threatened Israel and US with ‘further escalation on the Lebanese front. ‘
Netanyahu said resolutely: ‘I tell our enemies in the north, don’t test us, you will pay dearly.’
It came as Hezbollah’s chief warned of a further escalation on Israel’s border with Lebanon and said Hamas’s war with the Jewish state is ‘now on more than one front’.
In his first public speech since the conflict started, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, praised the Alaqsa Flood – the name used by Hamas for its vicious assault last month, and said the ‘glorious jihadi operation’ revealed the weakness of Israel and its army.
Any escalation now, he said, depends on the events in Gaza and Israel’s actions. ‘We will not be limited to this,’ he said, suggesting an escalation was possible, while also telling the US that his Iran-backed group was ready to face its warships.
‘Your fleet in the Mediterranean do not scare us… We are ready to face the fleet you threaten us with,’ Nasrallah said, addressing the US.
‘Whoever wants to prevent a regional war must quickly stop the aggression on Gaza.’
Nasrallah gave his ranting speech as Hamas claimed scores of Palestinians had been killed and injured after an Israeli missile strike hit an ambulance convoy on Friday.
The Israeli military confirmed it targeted an ambulance outside Gaza’s largest hospital Friday, claiming it was being used by Hamas militants while health officials said it was transporting the wounded.
Israeli ‘aircraft struck an ambulance that was identified by forces as being used by a Hamas terrorist cell in close proximity to their position in the battle zone,’ a military statement said.
Israel claimed to have killed an undisclosed number of Hamas members in the attack.
Hezbollah, an Iranian-funded proxy outfit, has supported Hamas’s military efforts against Israel over the years and engaged in a number of clashes on the border with Israel since October 7.
The 63-year-old is addressed to thousands in Beirut from an unknown location. Celebratory gunshots rang out as people waving Hezbollah’s yellow flag packed into a square in the city’s suburbs to watch the broadcast.
In his wide-ranging address, he called the war in Gaza ‘decisive’ and said there were two goals: to stop aggression against Gaza and to ensure victory for Hamas.
Nasrallah also claimed that his terror group had ‘entered the battle on October 8’ – the day after Hamas’s attack, which killed more than 1,400 people in Israel.
‘Some claim we are about to engage in the war. I am telling you, we have been engaged in this war and battle since October. The Islamic resistance and Lebanon started operations the very next day,’ he said.
Nasrallah insisted the decision to launch the attack was ‘100 percent Palestinian’ and that those responsible had kept it secret from everyone.
He said the decision to keep it a secret did not upset anyone in what he called the ‘axis of resistance’.
He added that the on-going conflict is purely a Palestinian issue, and has no relation to any regional issue, and denied any Hezbollah involvement in the attack.
‘This glorious, blessed large scale operation [is] a hundred per cent Palestinian in terms of decision and execution,’ he said. ‘The Palestinians had kept it secret.’
‘For a whole month, Israel could not offer a single military achievement,’ Nasrallah said, mocking Israel’s military. He added Israel could only get back hostages, 240 of which were taken back into Gaza by Hamas terrorists – through negotiation.
Turning to the United States, Nasrallah said America was ‘entirely responsible’ for the Hamas attack, and said groups in Iraq and Syria were ‘wise’ to attack US bases, and said the Islamic Resistance in Iraq was starting to ‘take its responsibility’.
The comments came as the Palestinian health ministry claimed scores of civilians had been killed in Israeli strikes on an ambulance convoy near Al-Ahifa Hospital in Gaza.
‘The occupation targeted the convoy in more than one location outside the door of al-Shifa Hospital,’ Ashraf al-Qidra the ministry spokesperson said.Share this story to friends