The leader of the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group on Tuesday vowed to prevent Israel’s annexation of parts of the West Bank.
“We support the Palestinian people and its leadership, and are ready to do anything to block and prevent the annexation plan,” said Hassan Nasrallah.
Nasrallah also claimed he received a message recently from the head of the Gaza-based Hamas terror group, Ismail Haniyeh.
“We must stand alongside our brothers, the Palestinians, as one people, as a nation and a resistance,” Nasrallah said.
He was speaking on a Hezbollah TV broadcast to mark the anniversary of the start of the Second Lebanon War.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has embraced the Trump administration peace plan, unveiled in January 2020, which allows Israel to extend sovereignty to its settlements in the West Bank, and the Jordan Valley, together comprising about 30 percent of the West Bank territory.
Under the US plan, the remaining 70% would be allocated to the Palestinians for a future state. The Palestinians have rejected the outline out of hand, saying it is biased toward Israel.
Though Netanyahu had set July 1 as a target date to unilaterally apply sovereignty, he has refrained from taking steps amid wide opposition in the international community and even Washington, and among his political allies.
‘She insults and offends us’
Nasrallah on Tuesday also blasted the US ambassador to Lebanon as a “military ruler” who was inciting tensions after she accused the party of stealing billions from state coffers.
Tensions have soared between Hezbollah and the outspoken envoy, Dorothy Shea, since she accused the party last month of spiriting away billions of dollars of state money at a time of acute economic crisis.
In an interview with Saudi-owned news channel Al-Hadath, Shea also said the US was reviewing Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government’s links with Hezbollah, considered by the US as a terrorist organization.
“Since the new ambassador arrived in Lebanon… she has dealt with Lebanon as though she is a military ruler, or a high commissary, as though she has authority,” Nasrallah said.
“Every day she attacks [Hezbollah]… she insults and offends us,” Nasrallah said, criticizing the government for keeping silent.
“She is pushing the Lebanese toward infighting, sedition and civil strife,” he said.
Nasrallah said Hezbollah lawmakers in parliament will ask the foreign ministry to summon Shea and reprimand her.
The Shiite terror group and its allies command a majority in parliament and the cabinet.
Shea was already summoned for a meeting with Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti late last month following her interview with Al-Hadath, which prompted a south Lebanon judge to issue a non-binding and now-defunct order banning the Lebanese press from reporting her comments.
Shea is “interfering in appointments and in government and in the economy,” Nasrallah said. “She is attacking the Lebanese and inciting them toward sedition and strife.”
The dispute comes as Lebanon grapples with its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
The Lebanese pound has nosedived against the dollar on the black market, sending prices soaring.
Nasrallah on Tuesday blamed Washington for compounding the economic downturn, accusing it of preventing dollars from entering the cash-strapped country and banning investment.
Iran-backed Hezbollah has been a US-designated terrorist group since 1997 and fights alongside the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the neighboring country’s civil war. It is Tehran’s most potent proxy on the regional scene.
Last month Hezbollah released a video threatening to strike major Israeli cities with precision guided missiles and claiming that it has the capability to hit “very precise targets” anywhere in Israel.