Hezbollah General-Secretary Hassan Nasrallah has warned that Hezbollah is 100 times more powerful now, compared to its position at the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Nasrallah delivered the speech to Hezbollah officials from a hidden bunker to the village of Khiam in southern Lebanon to mark the 11th anniversary of the end of the Second Lebanon War.
Nasrallah warned that, should Israel try to invade Lebanon again, it will suffer a much greater defeat than in 2006. Referencing Israel’s decision to close the 12,000-ton ammonia tank in a Haifa Bay factory after Hezbollah warned it was a target, Nasrallah indicated that Israel should also relocate the Dimona nuclear reactor as this too was a target.
Nasrallah suggested that Israel was deterred from attacking Lebanon by the perception that it would pay a high cost for such attack. Israel, he said, failed to eliminate Hezbollah in the 2006 war. Nasrallah said “every time an Israeli official talks about Hezbollah becoming stronger, he actually admits Israel’s defeat to Hezbollah.”
Hezbollah has been boosted by advanced weapons supplies from Iran and Russia. The organization now possess an estimated 130,000 missiles and Israeli intelligence believes the group is capable of firing 1,000 missiles a day into Israel, which would pose a severe challenge to Israel’s advanced missile defense systems.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 prohibits Hezbollah from maintaining a presence in Southern Lebanon, but its apparent freedom of maneuver in the areas has led Israel to criticize the work of UNIFIL and its role enforcing the Security Council resolution.
Israel’s security establishment currently believes that in the event of a third Lebanon war, the Lebanese army will participate either alongside Hezbollah, or at the very least in a supportive capacity. As a result, Israel may widen its targeting to include attacks on Lebanese infrastructure.
[Photo: BICOM ]