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Hezbollah not expecting war with Israel for summer: Official

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Sheikh Naim Qassem, deputy secretary general of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah

A senior Hezbollah official has ruled out the possibility of another Israeli war on Lebanon for this summer, but stated that the resistance movement is fully prepared to retaliate against any assault by the regime.

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem was reacting to reports that Israel is undergoing extensive preparations for a possible conflict with Hezbollah.

“There are no signs that Israel is preparing for a new assault on Lebanon, but if she chooses to do so, she will find that Hezbollah is at maximum readiness,” said Sheikh Qassem in a speech in southern Lebanon on Sunday.

Last week, Israeli daily Jerusalem Post quoted military commander Eren Makov as saying that Tel Aviv was training Israeli civilians throughout the northern occupied territories to prepare them for future conflicts with Lebanon.

“We give them training in what to do and they see it as a contribution,” Makov said.

Qassem also said the ongoing conflict in the Arab countries of Syria, Iraq and Yemen will not be allowed to spread to Lebanon.

Hezbollah fighters are fighting alongside the Syrian government forces against a range of terrorist groups operating in the country, including Daesh and the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front.

The movement has been helping Syrian army forces in Syria to prevent the spillover of the crisis into Lebanon.

A handout picture released by Hezbollah on May 13, 2015, shows a resistance fighter erecting the flag of the party on the Tallet Moussa area on the Syrian side of the Qalamoun hills close to the Lebanese borders. ©AFP

The official also praised Hezbollah fighters for forcing the Israeli military out of Southern Lebanon in 2000, saying that the movement’s victory was the beginning of Israel’s decline.

“Divine victory in May 2000 ended the era of Israeli expansion. Israel is not able to behave as it could before, since she has learned a lesson and began an era of decline. So, we have the right to look to the future and say that Israel will disappear,” he added.

Israel launched two wars on Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, through both of which the resistance fighter inflicted heavy losses on the regime’s military. About 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, lost their lives during the 33-day war in the summer of 2006.

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