Coughing with difficulty breathing, Nasrallah speaks and threatens Israel
Any violations of Jerusalem will cause a "regional war," warned Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday in his first speech since before Operation Guardian of the Walls began over two weeks ago.During the operation, Nasrallah did not make any statements and Hezbollah officials remained relatively quiet, with only one or two statements made besides for an official statement issued by the terrorist movement after the ceasefire.
Nasrallah stated on Tuesday that he had not made any statements in recent weeks because he had been sick. The Hezbollah leader delivered the speech in a quiet, raspy voice and appeared to have difficulty keeping his head up.
The Hezbollah leader stated that Gaza surprised "both friend and foe" when it carried out its threat to launch rockets at Jerusalem in response to the unrest surrounding Sheikh Jarrah and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Nasrallah stressed that Israel "misjudged" the impact of its moves, saying that Jerusalem entered a "very dangerous phase" which led to the conflict. He added that the escalation by Gaza was a "historic step" that must be "understood properly and built upon properly."
Nasrallah stressed that "violating" holy sites in Jerusalem differs from any other matter and that the reaction would be "different" than the reaction to the assassination of commanders or destruction of homes.
The Hezbollah leader warned that Israel must understand that "any violation of Jerusalem won't stop at Gaza" terrorist groups.
"We won't substitute Palestinians, but stand behind and next to them," said Nasrallah, calling for the creation of a "new equation" in which any violation of Jerusalem would lead to a regional war which would result in "Israel's destruction."
Nasrallah warned Israel “do not misjudge Lebanon, as you did with Gaza, knowing that our situation is different.”The threat by Nasrallah comes after clashes were reported between police and Palestinians on the Temple Mount in recent days.
Nasrallah emphasized the importance of Arab-Israelis acting in a unified manner with Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. He added that Operation Guardian of the Walls (referred to as Sword of Jerusalem by Palestinians) "revived" the Palestinian issue in the global arena and dealt a blow to normalization efforts by Israel in the region.
“Jerusalem means a regional war. All the resistance movements cannot stand by and watch this happening if the holy city is in real, grave danger,” he added.
Hezbollah’s shadow loomed large during Israel and Hamas’ 11-day battle in Gaza, with the possibility it could unleash its arsenal of missiles — far more powerful than Hamas’s — in support of the Palestinians. But the Iran-backed group remained on the sidelines. While a handful of rockets were shot at Israel from Lebanon, most failed to reach Israel. Hezbollah did not claim the attacks.
Daily protests, including by members of Hezbollah and Palestinians in Lebanon, took place along the frontier with Israel in solidarity with Gaza. One Hezbollah member was killed when Israel opened fire to push back against protesters who tried to break through the volatile frontier.