Hezbollah leader: Israel in dilemma between defeat or ‘abyss’ in Gaza war

Nasrallah hails October 7 killings and abductions as ‘a chance to revitalize the Palestinian cause’ and says Palestinian rights are highlighted worldwide because of the attack

An image grab from Hezbollah's al-Manar TV taken on February 16, 2024, shows the head of the Lebanese terror group Hassan Nasrallah delivering a televised speech. (Al-Manar/AFP)
An image grab from Hezbollah's al-Manar TV taken on February 16, 2024, shows the head of the Lebanese terror group Hassan Nasrallah delivering a televised speech. (Al-Manar/AFP)

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised address Monday that Israel was facing a “historical dilemma” in its war in Gaza between defeat and an “abyss.”

“If it halts the war, it will be a major defeat; and it will move into an abyss if it continues the military battle,” Nasrallah claimed, according to the Lebanon-based terror group’s Al-Manar TV.

He added that Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel in which terrorists murdered some 1,200 people and kidnapped 252 was “a chance to revitalize the Palestinian cause.”

The “steadfastness of women, children and resistance fighters in Gaza” has helped to reverse processes of normalization between Israel and Arab countries, he said.

“Nowadays, Palestine and the Palestinian rights are being highlighted all over the world,” Nasrallah was quoted as saying.

He also used his address to spread misinformation, saying that recent Israeli polls had shown that 30% of Israelis find Israel “uninhabitable” as a state.

Supporters of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah listen to a speech by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speaking via a video link, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, May 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Nasrallah also claimed that the IDF had lost 1,500 troops throughout the war, saying that the army has been secretive about its casualties. This is false. According to numbers regularly updated by the army, 620 soldiers have been killed since October 7, of whom 272 were killed since the beginning of the ground invasion in Gaza.

The Hezbollah leader also reiterated that the terrorist organization intends to continue its clashes with the IDF.

“The link between the supportive Lebanese front and Gaza is definitive, final and conclusive,” he said. “No one will be able to de-link them.”

Since October 8, Hezbollah-led forces have attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis, with the group saying it is doing so to support Gaza during the war there.

In recent months, France has made ongoing attempts to broker agreements between Hezbollah and Israel to stop the hostilities and get the former to pull back from the border. So far, these attempts have yielded no results.

Nasrallah said in his speech that the US knew these attempts were futile and that calm could not be restored in northern Israel without the war in Gaza ending.

Israel has threatened to go to war to force Hezbollah away from the border if it does not retreat and continues to threaten northern communities, where some 70,000 people have been evacuated to avoid the fighting.

So far, the skirmishes on the border have resulted in nine civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of 14 IDF soldiers and reservists. There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

Hezbollah has named 296 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. Another 60 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 60 civilians have been killed in Lebanon.

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