Hezbollah warns Israel against attack on Lebanon

Hezbollah warns Israel against attack on Lebanon

Hezbollah warns Israel against attack on Lebanon

Hezbollah’s deputy leader in Lebanon stated on Sunday that Israel was “not in a position” to dictate the group’s policies on its presence in the border region while the group’s conflict in Gaza rages.

Since the Israel-Hamas battle began on October 7, there have been increasing gunfire exchanges along the Israel-Lebanon border, primarily between the Israeli army and Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran. This has raised concerns about the possibility of a wider conflict.

Thousands of civilians have been evacuated from the border area by the army, and Israel has been pressuring Hezbollah to leave the area north of the Litani River, which is roughly thirty kilometres (20 miles) north of the border.

Israel is “trying to show that it has options” to assist in the return of displaced Israeli people and drive out Hezbollah from the border region, according to Hezbollah deputy leader Naim Qassem.

In a speech, Qassem warned that Israel “first must stop the Gaza war in order for the war in Lebanon to stop” and that it “is not in a position to impose its options.”

“The persistent bombing of civilians in Lebanon means the response will be stronger and proportionate to the Israeli aggression,” Qassem added.

More than 160 people have died on the Lebanese side since the start of the cross-border fighting, the most of them were Hezbollah fighters but there have also been over 20 civilian deaths, including three journalists.

The Israeli military reports that at least five civilians and nine troops have died.

While Israel has been hitting south Lebanon, Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for many strikes on Israeli troops and fortifications, including one on Sunday. It claims that its activities are in support of its ally, Hamas.

“Fighter jets struck Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure and military structures” in the south Lebanon region of Ramyeh, the Israeli army claimed on Sunday.

It said that the organisation was using Ramyeh as “a centre for its terrorist activity” and that it was “operating from behind the civilian population.”

Since the conclusion of a conflict with Israel in 2006, Hezbollah has not maintained a noticeable military presence on Lebanon’s southern border, but it still has significant influence in the south of the nation, where it has constructed tunnels and hideouts.

All military soldiers were ordered to retreat north of the Litani River by UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which put an end to the 2006 conflict, with the exception of UN peacekeepers and Lebanese state security forces.

Hezbollah attacks, according to an Israeli army statement, “violate UN Security Council Resolution 1701”.

This month, Prime Minister Najib Mikati declared that if Israel agreed and withdrew from area, Lebanon would be prepared to carry out UN resolutions.

(With agency inputs)