Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday warned that a retaliation for the assassination of Samir Kuntar last week attributed to Israel will “inevitably come,” saying Israelis should be afraid both in the country, along the border, and abroad.
In a lengthy televised address marking a week since the death of archterrorist Kuntar, Nasrallah vowed the Lebanon-based terror group would respond to the killing regardless of the “repercussions,” and likened Israeli soldiers on the northern border to “rats.”
“The retaliation to Samir’s assassination will inevitably come,” he said, according to a translation by Lebanese news site Naharnet.”The Israelis are worried and they should be worried along the border, inside Israel and outside of it… The Israelis are hiding like rats along the border.”
Nasrallah said the response was “now up to the resistance fighters.”
“We do not fear any repercussions or threats and we cannot tolerate that the blood of our jihadist fighters and brother be shed anywhere in this world,” he added.
Nasrallah also appeared to corroborate claims by Israel that Hezbollah was operating on the Syrian Golan Heights.
“When the activities of the resistance started near the Golan, Israel grew very anxious, and it started retaliating in a disproportionate manner to any shelling or gunfire on the border, even if it did not cause casualties,” he said.
The Hezbollah leader also praised the spate of Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis since October, and hailed Kuntar, who served nearly three decades in an Israeli prison for his part in the brutal 1979 murders of a Nahariya family.
“As we commemorate Kuntar, we must revive the spirit of sacrifice, because this is a key condition for the rise of the people, the persistence of resistance and the creation of the future,” he said. “After he was freed from prison, Samir could have lived a normal life among his family and friends, and he could have stayed in the axis of resistance without getting involved militarily, but he refused to do so.”
With regard to the Palestinians, Nasrallah said they should not wait for Saudi-style intervention like in Yemen or an “Islamic military alliance for combating terrorism.”
He also said that if “all efforts in Syria, Iraq and other countries where conflicts are taking place were joined together, the Israeli entity would be wiped out,” according to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar channel.
On Saturday night, Syrian media reported that Israeli warplanes hit Hezbollah targets in the Qalamoun area of Syria in a series of at least seven airstrikes. Hezbollah denied the reports.
The reported strikes came less than a week after Hezbollah-allied terrorist Kuntar was killed in an explosion in his Damascus home, which has been attributed to Israel. Kuntar’s death was followed within hours by rocket strikes from Lebanon on the northern Israeli city of Nahariya.
Israel has warned Hezbollah not to respond to Kuntar’s death. Foreign officials also warned the Lebanon-based terror group that seeking retaliation for Kuntar’s killing could prompt a crushing Israeli response.
Hezbollah said Kuntar was killed along with eight others in an overnight Saturday airstrike on a residential building in Jaramana, on the outskirts of the Syrian capital of Damascus.