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Hezbollah: Failure to react to raids would have emboldened Israel

This picture shows Hezbollah rockets being fired into Israeli-occupied territories from southern Lebanon, on August 6, 2021. (Photo by Lebanon’s al-Manar television network)

A senior Hezbollah official says the Israeli regime would have carried more acts of aggression in case fighters from the Lebanese resistance movement had not acted promptly to retaliate the recent Israeli raids on southern Lebanon.

“Hezbollah does not want war, but will not hesitate, as seen in recent days, to respond in case Israel invades Lebanon,” Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said during a ceremony on Tuesday, marking the start of the lunar calendar month of Muharram — the 10th day of which marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam.

He added, “If the Israeli enemy had not been given a befitting response, it would have continued to conduct more acts of aggression against us.”

Sheikh Qassem said it was the Tel Aviv regime that violated Lebanon’s sovereignty, stressing that the Lebanese people will protect their homeland on their own.

The senior Hezbollah official added that the United States cannot be trusted as an honest broker, and the only way to end the Israeli occupation is resistance and struggle.

Israel carried out its first air raids on Lebanese soil in years on August 5, prompting Hezbollah to fire rockets back at Israel the following day.

Hezbollah announced in a statement that its units hit open fields near Israeli positions at 11:15 a.m. local time (0815 GMT) on August 6, using dozens of 122mm-caliber rockets.

Al-Mayadeen television news network said at least 20 rockets had been fired at Israel’s military positions. Al-Manar TV said a number of the rockets had targeted the Douf military base.

Israeli media said residents of settlements in the north of the occupied territories had been asked to stay in homes.

The senior Hezbollah official pointed out that the United States cannot be trusted as an honest broker, and the only way to confront the Israeli occupation lies in resistance and struggle.

Following the retaliatory rocket attack, Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett and the regime’s minister of military affairs Benny Gantz held an emergency session amid reports of a massive number of sorties conducted by Israeli warplanes over southern Lebanon.

On Saturday, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the Lebanese resistance movement does not pursue war, but is not afraid of one either since it is certain about its chances of victory.

Nasrallah described the August 6 retaliation as only a fraction of what Hezbollah is capable of carrying out, saying the group has a reliable array of defensive choices at its disposal in case of a conflict.

“Our response was linked to the Israeli strikes that occurred in south Lebanon for the first time in 15 years,” Nasrallah said on Saturday in a televised speech ahead of the anniversary of the victory over Israel in the 2006 war.

“We wanted to tell the enemy … that any airstrike by the Israeli air force on Lebanon will inevitably draw a response, though in a suitable and proportionate way, because we want to serve the purpose of protecting our country,” he added.

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