Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah made waves Wednesday, when he threatened to “liberate the Galilee region” if Israel initiated a new war with Lebanon, and warned that military leaders would be targeted.
Nasrallah’s speech, delivered on the party’s Martyrs Day, prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to tell American Jewish leaders gathered in occupied Jerusalem, that “Nobody should doubt Israel’s or our ability to defend ourselves.”
Making reference to Nasrallah’s underground leadership of Hezbollah, Netanyahu said, “Anyone who’s hiding in a bunker should say in the bunker.”
Commemorating the assassination of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh three years earlier on 13 February 2008, Nasrallah said his blood would “not go to waste,” saying Israeli military leaders would be targeted in revenge.
Nasrallah congratulated the people of Egypt on the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last week, and warned that amid toppling regimes in the region “The US aims to serve the Arab systems that are closer to Israel.
“[These systems] become supported, funded and a key ally to [Washington],” but at the same time dismissed the influence of western-backing for Lebanon’s pro-western parties, as a new government was being tested in the country.
Hezbollah and one supporting member of the Lebanese government walked out in January, causing the government to collapse. A new prime minister delegate Najib Mikati, was charged with appointing a cabinet, which included the Hezbollah-led camp and technocrats but excluded the pro-West wing.