Hassan Nasrallah, who leads the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, praised the ongoing Palestinian uprising on Sunday and said standing up to the Israeli “occupation” is the duty of all Muslims.
Speaking at a ceremony honoring Hezbollah officer Hassan Muhammad al-Hajj, killed last week in combat in Syria, Nasrallah said that Hezbollah still has a large cadre of capable commanders, despite heavy losses in Syria.
“We stood and continue to stand with the Palestinian people and its intifada,” Nasrallah said. “Today we look to the young and old in Palestine, facing one of the strongest armies in the region with hands holding nothing but stones and knives… there will be no hope for this [Zionist] entity and any of its protectors.
“This renewed intifada,” Nasrallah added, “is the real hope for the Palestinian people to rid themselves from the occupation and protect [the] Al-Aqsa [mosque in Jerusalem]. It is everyone’s responsibility to stand by it, each according to his abilities and conditions.”
Last week, Nasrallah said on Lebanese television that he emphasizes “our absolute support for the rights of the Palestinian people and their intifada.”
He was speaking ahead of the Shiite Muslim religious holiday Ashura.
“It is incumbent upon us all to stand by the Palestinians and help them all we can, and to recognize the fact that the Palestinians have in front of them… no choice but the choice of resistance and intifada,” he added.
Nasrallah said the Palestinians were responding to “provocations by Israelis” and were seeking to prevent the “Judaization of Al-Aqsa mosque,” which is situated on the Temple Mount.
Hezbollah last week deployed hundreds of fighters to Syria in an offensive with Iranian troops and under Russian air cover.
The offensive, in central and northern Syria, concentrated on the major city of Aleppo. The group fought a brutal war against Israel in 2006.
Hezbollah, according to IDF assessments, has lost more than 1,000 fighters in the Syrian civil war. Top officers from the IDF’s Northern Command warn that the Shiite terror group, despite its severe losses, still poses a major threat to Israel and that its missile arsenal has been completely replenished and upgraded since the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
AFP and AP contributed to this report.