Benjamin Netanyahu launched Israel’s latest deadly campaign of bombardment and assassinations in the Gaza Strip in an attempt to divert attention away from the crisis in Israel, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says.
But the Israeli prime minister’s tactics have failed to get the desired results, the Hezbollah secretary-general added.
The chief of Lebanon's resistance movement made the remarks in a ceremony held in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh on Friday to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the martyrdom of Sayyed Mustafa Badr al-Deen, a military leader of Hezbollah and an advisor to the resistance movement’s chief.
Nasrallah hailed Badr al-Deen as an “insightful commander” with deep knowledge and strategic mentality, saying he attained all “honorable medals” a resistance fighter could achieve.
The Hezbollah chief said Badr al-Deen’s repeated calls for working under a unified banner manifested the unity of the Axis of Resistance.
Nasrallah offered his condolences to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement over the martyrdom of its commanders in recent Israeli airstrikes.
“We all know Netanyahu is the one who initiated the aggression by assassinating three Islamic Jihad commanders from the al-Quds Brigades in the Strip and a number of women and children,” Nasrallah said. “Netanyahu’s motives behind the aggression were clear as he was trying to restore deterrence, flee the internal crisis, deal with divisions in his coalition cabinet and improve his political and electoral status.”
“Netanyahu’s calculations were a failure as he decided to target the Islamic Jihad movement and spare the rest of the factions, and create chaos within the resistance front," he added.
Islamic Jihad acted wisely after the assassination of the leaders in the al-Quds Brigades, Nasrallah said, adding that the Israeli enemy was waiting for a reaction from the movement and when its leadership resorted to calm, the enemy became confused.
Resistance in Gaza is powerful thanks to the unity between the Palestinian factions, Nasrallah said. “The unity of the Palestinian resistance factions has prevented the occupation from achieving its goals.”
The secretary-general of Hezbollah also said it is unfortunate the international community remained silent and the United States prevented the UN Security Council from condemning Israel for killing women and children in Gaza.
"The battle of Gaza is important and its effects are not limited to the Strip, but to the entire region, and we are in constant contact with the leadership of the resistance in Gaza, and we will not hesitate to provide assistance at any time when duty calls,” Nasrallah said.
The Israeli regime has been continuously bombarding the besieged Gaza Strip over the past four days, assassinating several resistance commanders and killing civilians, including women and children. In response, Palestinian resistance factions have launched retaliatory strikes toward Israeli cities and settlements, with the Israeli military saying nearly 1,000 rockets have so far been fired from the Strip.
‘Syria changed neither its stance nor its strategy’
During his televised speech on Friday, Nasrallah touched on Syria’s readmission to the Arab League after over a decade and commended as an “important step” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s invitation to the Arab summit next week. “Syria remained in place and did not change its position or axis,” the Hezbollah chief said. “All the positive developments in Syria took place with the blessings of the steadfastness of its leadership, army and people.”
Underlining that the restoration of relations with Syria serves Lebanon’s national interest, Nasrallah said, “Lebanon is called to restore ties with Syria, what are we waiting for?”
“What is required is the restoration of Lebanese relations with Syria,” he said. “If Hezbollah had been in charge of taking the decision in Lebanon, relations with Syria would have been restored a long time ago.”
Arab representatives in Cairo voted on Sunday to return Syria to the Arab League after a 12-year suspension, with all 13 of the 22 member states attending the session endorsing the decision. The Arab League had suspended the membership of Syria, one of the founding members, in November 2011, at the start of foreign-backed militancy in the country.
Nasrallah unveils pick in Lebanon’s presidential vote
Elsewhere in his remarks, Nasrallah pointed to the presidential elections in Lebanon and said Hezbollah had chosen Christian politician and former Minister Suleiman Franjieh as the movement’s nominee.
“We chose our candidate, and he is a natural and serious candidate, and our support for this nomination is not outside the Lebanese structure, and we do not impose our candidate on anyone, and let each party nominate any name.”
“The caretaker government must continue to carry out its work within the limits of the constitution despite all the difficulties, and we are thankful for doing so.”
Lebanon’s presidency has seen stalemate several times since the 1975-1990 civil war. The country has also had only a caretaker government since May 2022.