A member of the Hezbollah resistance movement says the war games jointly held by Arab states and Israel will embolden the occupying regime to conduct more acts of aggression against Lebanon and Palestine.
Nabil Qaouk, deputy member of Hezbollah executive council, made the remarks on Saturday, three days after the United States began its first joint naval drill with Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain in the Red Sea.
“The military exercises held by the Arab countries and the Zionist regime are a dagger in the heart of al-Quds, Palestine and all the nations of the region,” he said.
“They encourage the Zionist enemy to carry out further acts of aggression against Lebanon and Palestine, and are a stain of shame on the foreheads of the leaders of the normalization with the Zionist regime,” the official added.
The US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) said in a statement that the five-day “multilateral maritime security operations exercise” would “enhance interoperability between participating forces’ maritime interdiction teams.”
The UAE and Bahrain last year normalized diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv under a US-brokered deal, which the Palestinians condemned as a treacherous “stab in the back” of their cause against the decades-long Israeli occupation.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Qaouk said the weapons of the resistance are needed to confront the Israeli enemy and would always remain so, al-Manar TV channel reported.
“Regardless of all the external pressure, crises, and foreign intervention, the priority of the resistance will be increased readiness to confront Israeli aggression. We promise to create a victory even greater than those of 2000 and 2006,” he noted.
The Hezbollah official also stressed that the resistance has since 2006 increased its power both in quantity and quality and turned into a “strong fortress” protecting Lebanon and the Lebanese people.
“With the army-nation-resistance equation, southern Lebanon (where the country’s resistance movement is based) constitutes today the frontline of defending Lebanon’s dignity and sovereignty,” he said.
Hezbollah was established following the 1982 Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon. Since then, the popular resistance group has grown into a powerful military force.
Lebanon fought off two Israeli wars in 2000 and 2006. On both occasions, battleground contribution by Hezbollah proved an indispensable asset, forcing the Israeli military into a retreat and shattering the myth of the occupying entity’s invincibility.
Lebanon and Israel are technically at war because the latter has kept the Arab country’s Shebaa Farms under occupation since 1967.
Hezbollah has on many occasions expressed its full readiness for confrontation in case the Zionist regime opts to launch any new act of aggression against Lebanon.