Hezbollah chief warns Israel of ‘stone age’ consequences


The leader of Lebanon’s powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, Hassan Nasrallah, said on Monday that his group could send Israel “back to the stone age” if it goes to war with Lebanon. He was responding to similar threats made by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant last week, who said that Lebanon would be sent “back to the stone age” if Hezbollah escalates tensions at the border.

Nasrallah delivered a televised speech to mark the anniversary of the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, which ended with a UN-brokered ceasefire after 34 days of fighting. He said that Hezbollah has acquired “a few high-precision missiles” that could target Israel’s civilian and military infrastructure, including airports, power stations, and the Dimona nuclear reactor.

Hezbollah chief warns Israel of ‘stone age’ consequences
Hezbollah chief warns Israel of ‘stone age’ consequences

He also warned that if a future conflict involves Hezbollah’s regional allies, such as Iran, Syria, and some Palestinian factions, then “there will be no such thing called Israel anymore”. He said that Israel is aware of Hezbollah’s capabilities and deterrence, and that it is not ready for another war with Lebanon.

Border tensions simmer

Nasrallah’s speech came amid increased tensions along the border area between Israel and Lebanon, which remain technically at war since 1948. South Lebanon, near the Israeli border, is a Hezbollah stronghold and the site of sporadic incidents and skirmishes. In July, Israel said it had thwarted an infiltration attempt by Hezbollah fighters, which the group denied. In August, Israel fired flares and artillery shells across the border after it said it detected “irregular activity” in the area.

Hezbollah is the only Lebanese faction that kept its weapons after the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. It is considered a “terrorist” organization by many Western governments, including the US, the UK, and Canada. However, it is also a major political force in Lebanon, holding seats in parliament and cabinet. It receives financial and military support from Iran, which considers it as part of its “axis of resistance” against Israel and the US.

Internal strife in Lebanon

Nasrallah also addressed the internal situation in Lebanon, which is facing a severe economic and political crisis. He urged calm and dialogue among the different sects and parties, and accused some politicians of stoking intercommunal tensions and “driving the country towards civil war”.

He referred to a recent incident in Kahale, a town near Beirut, where a Hezbollah ammunition truck overturned and triggered deadly clashes between Christian residents and members of the Shiite Muslim group. One resident of Kahale and one Hezbollah member were killed by gunfire. The Lebanese army said it had seized the munitions from the truck after the incident.

Nasrallah said that such incidents are “very dangerous” and could lead to “a big explosion”. He called on Lebanon’s Christian community to trust Hezbollah and not to fall for “the lies and incitement” of some politicians. He said that Hezbollah’s weapons are only for defending Lebanon against external threats, and that “the interest of Lebanon, the Lebanese people and the resistance is for calm to prevail in Lebanon”.


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