Nasrallah outraged by Sunni states’ warming Israel ties
From the safety of his underground bunker, where he has been hiding from Israel since 2006, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, vitamin D deficiency and all, delivered a televised speech marking “Martyr Leaders Day” Tuesday evening, telling the Lebanese people that “the Israelis believe they are facing two opportunities [in Syria]: the first is establishing relations and alliances with the Sunni Arab states by taking advantage of the confrontation with Iran; and the other is changing the regime in Syria.”
Nasrallah noted that “Israel also believes that it is facing two threats: the first is Iran and the second is the resistance movements in Palestine and Lebanon.” He suggested that his viewers “monitor the Israeli media to realize that the Israeli rhetoric has become identical to the rhetoric reflected in some Arab media, especially in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia.”
Iranian-backed group Hezbollah is fighting in Syria alongside the Alawite regime’s army and Shi’ite Iran’s revolutionary guard forces against Gulf-backed Sunni rebels. Despite the bloody and complex nature of the conflict, which has seen around 400,000 deaths since 2011, Nasrallah was outraged at the idea that the Jewish state could be considered a friend to Arab countries over Iran.
Challenging the growing consensus that Israel and Sunni Arab states are increasingly aligned in the region, Hezbollah’s chief asked rhetorically, “Do you accept a friend occupying Sunni land in Palestine? Can you become friends with an entity that has committed the most horrible massacres against the Sunni community?”
“You are free to consider Iran an enemy but how can you consider Israel a friend and an ally? This issue must be confronted in a serious manner,” he said.
Talking up Hezbollah’s deterrence, Nasrallah addressed his Lebanese constituency, saying “There is no need to fear an Israeli war, because after the First and Second Lebanon wars, Israel decided that it would only wage war if a quick victory is guaranteed.”
“When Israel knows that there is a force in Lebanon that can prevent it from achieving a quick victory, it will not engage in such a war,” he claimed.
In his wide-ranging address, Nasrallah stated that “The Saudis, Turks and Israelis are paralyzing the (Syria) negotiations. They are putting preconditions and raising the ceiling of the demands, the thing that even the US has started to criticize.”
“They want to partition Syrian into four states – a Sunni state, an Alawite state, a Druze state and a Kurdish state,” he claimed.
Israel has no representation in the ongoing negotiations attempting to achieve a ceasefire in Syria aimed at ending the five year civil war, and they haven’t actively joined their allies in airstrikes.
Nasrallah also had message for IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, saying “you can destroy Lebanon and Dahiyeh with your entire army, but we can do the same thing to Israel with only a few missiles.”
“Haifa is just one of many examples,” he said. “The leaders of Israel understand that Hezbollah has the ability to cover the entirety of Israel with missiles. We must keep this capability because it acts as a deterrent for the Third Lebanon War.”
He then repeated statements which he had made in the past, saying that while Hezbollah has no interest in war at this time, it is nevertheless ready for one.