IDF soldier lightly hurt in Hezbollah drone attack on north

Nasrallah: If Hamas agrees to ceasefire with Israel, Hezbollah will also halt attacks

Lebanese terror chief says Hamas is negotiating on behalf of entire Iran-led ‘axis of resistance,’ claims ramped-up drone and rocket strikes show ‘Hezbollah doesn’t fear war’

An image grab taken from Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on July 10, 2024, shows the Lebanese terror group's chief Hassan Nasrallah giving a speech from an undisclosed location in Lebanon. (Al-Manar/AFP)
An image grab taken from Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on July 10, 2024, shows the Lebanese terror group's chief Hassan Nasrallah giving a speech from an undisclosed location in Lebanon. (Al-Manar/AFP)

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Wednesday his Lebanese terror group would accept Palestinian ally Hamas’s decision on Gaza hostage negotiations and would stop cross-border attacks on Israel if a ceasefire were reached.

Hezbollah has traded almost daily fire with Israeli forces in support of Hamas since the Palestinian terror group’s October 7 attack on Israel triggered war in the Gaza Strip, stoking fears of a full-blown conflict in the north.

“Hamas is negotiating… on behalf of the whole axis of resistance,” Nasrallah said, referring to regional pro-Iran groups opposed to Israel and the United States.

“Whatever Hamas accepts, everyone accepts and is satisfied with,” he said, adding: “We do not ask (Hamas) to coordinate with us because the battle in the first instance is theirs.”

Nasrallah’s remarks came days after he met with a Hamas delegation headed by foreign relations chief Khalil al-Hayya, and as talks were to resume in Qatar toward a truce-for-hostage deal in the Gaza war, now grinding into its 10th month.

Hamas has signaled that it would drop its insistence on a “complete” ceasefire — which Israel has repeatedly rejected — as a condition for starting truce talks, saying it would instead seek a commitment from mediators.

A handout picture released by the Hezbollah press office on July 5, 2024 shows Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah (2R) meeting with a Hamas delegation presided by Khalil al-Hayya (2L) at an undisclosed location in Lebanon (Hezbollah’s Media Office / AFP)

Nasrallah repeated his position that “if a ceasefire is reached, and we all hope for that… our front will cease fire without any discussion.”

“That is a commitment, because it is a support front and we have been clear [about this] from the start,” he said, during a televised address commemorating a senior Hezbollah commander killed in an Israeli strike last week.

However, Nasrallah warned that “we will never allow any attack that the Israeli enemy might carry out against Lebanon [even] if there is a ceasefire in Gaza.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Sunday that “we will continue fighting and doing everything necessary to bring about the desired result” in the campaign against Hezbollah, “even if there is a ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip.

Hezbollah announced three new attacks on Wednesday, including an “aerial offensive with a squadron of explosive drones” targeting a military base in the Golan Heights.

The Israeli military said one soldier was lightly wounded after three drones from Lebanon impacted near the Beit Hameches junction in northern Israel. The IDF announced it was investigating why sirens did not sound and why it failed to intercept the drones.

Smoke rises after projectiles fired from Lebanon strike open areas in the northern Golan Heights, July 10, 2024. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

The Lebanese terror organization, which has increased its use of explosive drones in recent weeks, said the latest attack was in retaliation “for the attack and assassination carried out by the Israeli enemy… on the Damascus-Beirut road” on Tuesday.

A source close to the Iran-backed group, requesting anonymity, told AFP that a former bodyguard to Nasrallah was killed in the strike, identifying him by the surname of Qarnabash. Hezbollah in a statement announced the death of a fighter with the same surname, Yasser Qarnabash, but did not detail his role or rank in the terror group.

Earlier Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces said it carried out an airstrike targeting several Hezbollah operatives spotted entering a building in southern Lebanon’s Tayr Harfa.

Separately, Hezbollah sites in Taybeh were struck, the IDF added.

In the afternoon, the IDF said a of barrage of some 30 rockets was launched from Lebanon at the northern Galilee Panhandle.

No injuries were caused in the attack, which set off sirens sounded in several communities in the area.

Since Hezbollah began attacking Israel on October 8, 12 civilians have been killed on the Israeli side, along with 16 IDF soldiers and reservists. There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

Hezbollah has named 364 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 65 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and dozens of civilians have been killed.

Nasrallah said Israeli demands to push Hezbollah back from the border “won’t fix” the situation for Israel.

His group’s launching of “hundreds of rockets and dozens of drones in a single day” toward Israeli targets was a message “that Hezbollah doesn’t fear war,” he added.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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