Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah stated in a speech on Tuesday that the Iran-backed terror organization he leads now has the ability to cause damage in Israel equivalent to a nuclear bomb detonation, killing tens of thousands.
Nasrallah claimed that Hezbollah wasn’t seeking war with Israel, but said that the terror group’s missiles were capable of hitting ammonia storage tanks located in the northern Israel city of Haifa. He cited an unidentified Israeli official, who said that such an attack would affect 800,000 people and cause tens of thousands of deaths, according to the Lebanese news site Naharnet.
“This would be exactly as a nuclear bomb, and we can say that Lebanon today has a nuclear bomb, seeing as any rocket that might hit these tanks is capable of creating a nuclear bomb effect,” he said, adding that although Hezbollah had lost many of its fighters in Syria, it was constantly upgrading its capabilities.
Hours after Nasrallah gave his speech, Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbai ordered the ammonia facility to be moved to the Negev desert in the south of the country, the Times of Israel reported.
During a meeting with Nasrallah in August, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif boasted that the nuclear deal presented “a historic opportunity” to confront Israel. Before the deal was completed, former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, an ally of current president Hassan Rouhani, said that Israel feared the agreement because it would strengthen Iran and that one day Israel would be “wiped off the map.”
Last August, respected Haaretz military correspondent Amos Harel predicted that Iranian-backed attacks by Hezbollah from Syria would increase in the wake of the nuclear deal.
An Israeli defense official told The New York Times in May that the buildup of Hezbollah’s terror infrastructure in southern Lebanese villages meant that “civilians are living in a military compound,” and that their lives were at risk. A few days later, a newspaper linked to Hezbollah confirmed the Israeli assessment.
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