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Lebanese report claims Nasrallah sick with pneumonia and allergies, not COVID

Sources close to Hezbollah chief say he is under medical supervision but does not need hospital treatment

Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah coughs during a May 25, 2021, address (Twitter screenshot)
Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah coughs during a May 25, 2021, address (Twitter screenshot)

Sources close to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday pushed back against claims he had contracted the coronavirus, saying the terror leader was suffering from pneumonia and seasonal allergies.

According to the sources, this was not the terror leader’s first time suffering from springtime hay fever, the Lebanese Al Joumhouria newspaper reported.

“Previously he had been treated without any commotion or anyone noticing, as it was not during occasions where he had to publicly appear, unlike this time,” the sources told the paper.

The report said Nasrallah was under the supervision of a specialist doctor but did not need hospital treatment. The doctor conducted consultations with other medical professionals, including one in the United States, who all came to the consensus that the terror leader was suffering from seasonal allergies and pneumonia, the newspaper said.

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah gives an address on official party al-Manar TV on September 29, 2020. (Screenshot: Al-Manar)

According to the report, Nasrallah has continued to work despite feeling under the weather.

The initial reports of COVID-19 came after Nasrallah coughed and wheezed his way through a televised address last Tuesday in which he threatened “regional war” if Israel attacked holy sites in Jerusalem. The speech came a few days after a ceasefire ended 11 days of fighting between Hamas and Israel, with Nasrallah warning his terror group could get involved in the next round.

Israel Defense Forces officials leaked to Israeli media the army’s assessment that Nasrallah had contracted the coronavirus, which appeared to be largely based on circumstantial evidence as, according to Israel’s Channel 13, he was not thought to have been tested for COVID-19.

It is unknown if he has been vaccinated against the virus.

File: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem speaks in the Ghobeiry neighborhood of southern Beirut on May 13, 2016. (AFP Photo/Stringer)

On Friday, the terror group’s deputy secretary-general Naim Qassem said, “The secretary-general is fine, praise be to God,” adding that “he was struck by illness in recent days, and needed two or three days to recover; but because those who love him were waiting for his speech on May 25, his failure to appear would have raised questions.”

Last week, Israeli military officials derided the speech by Nasrallah, who appeared pale and weak on camera.

Hezbollah’s shadow loomed large during Israel and Hamas’s conflict, 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 largely remained on the sidelines.

Though Hezbollah did not play an active part in the fighting, three barrages of rockets were fired toward Israel from southern Lebanon during the Gaza battle, which Israel believes Hezbollah at least tacitly approved.

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.

Aaron Boxerman and Agencies contributed to this report.

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