Nasrallah says ‘no place’ in Israel would be safe in war, threatens to target Cyprus

In televised speech, terror leader claims Hezbollah does not want total war but is prepared for it, will not halt fighting until permanent ceasefire is reached in Gaza

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah speaks at a ceremony commemorating a slain Hezbollah senior commander, June 19, 2024. (Screenshot)
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah speaks at a ceremony commemorating a slain Hezbollah senior commander, June 19, 2024. (Screenshot)

The head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group Hassan Nasrallah said Wednesday that nowhere in Israel would be safe if a full-fledged war breaks out between the two foes, while also threatening Cyprus and other parts of the Mediterranean.

Speaking at a ceremony commemorating slain Hezbollah senior commander Taleb Abdullah, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon last week alongside three other operatives, Nasrallah commented on the escalating conflict with the Jewish state and said the Shiite terror group does not want “total war” but is only acting in support of Hamas.

Hezbollah has been attacking northern Israel since October 8, leading to Israeli reprisals and an escalating conflict Israel has increasingly warned could spark open war.

Were Israel to launch a large-scale offensive against the Lebanese terror group, it must prepare for attacks from the ground, the air and the sea, and the “situation in the Mediterranean will change completely,” Nasrallah vowed.

“No place” in Israel would be spared from the group’s weapons in case of a full-blown war, Nasrallah warned, saying Hezbollah will fight with “no rules” and “no ceilings” and adding: “The enemy knows well that we have prepared ourselves for the worst… and that no place… will be spared from our rockets.”

Israel “knows that what also awaits it in the Mediterranean is very big,” Nasrallah added, without elaborating, possibly insinuating the group could attack its offshore gas rigs.

The Israeli warship, Hanit, which was attacked by Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War, allegedly by a C-802 anti-ship missile that was manufactured by Iran. (photo credit: Tsahi Ben-Ami/Flash90)
The Israeli warship, Hanit, which was attacked by Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War, allegedly by a C-802 anti-ship missile that was manufactured by Iran. (photo credit: Tsahi Ben-Ami/Flash90)

Nasrallah also threatened Cyprus for the first time, saying it had been allowing Israel to use its airports and bases for military exercises and that Hezbollah could consider it “a part of the war” and strike it were it to allow the IDF to use logistical infrastructure in the country to attack Lebanon.

“Opening Cypriot airports and bases to the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon would mean that the Cypriot government is part of the war, and the resistance will deal with it as part of the war,” he said.

Cyprus is not known to offer any land or base facilities to the Israeli military, but has in the past allowed Israel to use its airspace to occasionally conduct air drills, though never during conflict.

There are two British bases in Cyprus, which was a colony until 1960. They have been used for operations in Syria and more recently, Yemen, and the Cypriot government has no say in the matter. According to Hebrew media reports, British Royal Air Force fighter jets and refueling aircraft took off from bases in Cyprus to help thwart a massive drone and missile attack launched by Iran against Israel in mid-April.

Following Nasrallah’s speech, Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides said his country “is in no way involved” in any military operations in the region or elsewhere, adding that that the terror leader’s remarks “don’t in any way reflect what’s being attempted, which is to present a picture that Cyprus is involved in military operations.”

Christodoulides said Cyprus was “part of the solution, not part of the problem” and was recognized throughout the Arab world and internationally through such initiatives, such as the Cyprus-Gaza maritime corridor delivering humanitarian aid by ship to the Strip.

He also said there were avenues of communication with both Lebanon and Iran “through diplomatic means.”

Flaunting technological advances

Following Hezbollah’s publication on Tuesday of footage allegedly filmed from one of its reconnaissance drones flying over northern Israel, Nasrallah claimed that the terror group has hours of such footage and of information about sensitive military targets inside Israel, including some that are located far from the northern border.

A still image of Haifa Bay from footage of northern Israel claimed by Hezbollah to have been captured with a drone on an unspecified date and published on June 18, 2024. (Screenshot, X, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Among such targets are military bases and headquarters located deep inside Israeli territory, some of which have been camouflaged but were uncovered by Hezbollah’s drones, Nasrallah claimed.

On Wednesday,  IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi downplayed the publication of the drone footage, saying the IDF is “preparing and building solutions to deal with such capabilities,” and possesses “infinitely more powerful capabilities” that Hezbollah is not aware of.

In his speech, Nasrallah claimed that Israeli military leaders have known since October 8 that some of the sensitive targets inside Israeli territory would be targeted.

Among such targets, Nasrallah mentioned the Mount Meron air traffic control base, which in his words represented an “aspirational target” in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, and today is fully within reach of Hezbollah’s projectiles.

File: An IDF base on Mount Meron (IDF)

He further alleged that the terror group has developed and keeps manufacturing new missiles and drones, and that its human and military resources are greater than they have ever been.

Due to Hezbollah’s continuous attacks, the IDF had been forced to divert resources from Gaza, Nasrallah said, noting that Israel has suffered huge economic losses as a result of the evacuation of towns on the northern border and the halt of agricultural and industrial activities in the area.

Despite the military and economic damage, Israeli leaders are not willing to admit the magnitude of the damage, Nasrallah added, in order not to put pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose priority remains the war against Hamas in Gaza.

The terror leader also mocked Israel for claiming to possess the strongest army in the region, noting that the IDF has not yet been able to completely dismantle Hamas forces in Rafah despite a ground operation that has lasted several weeks.

Troops of the IDF’s Givati Brigade operate in the Yabna camp of southern Gaza’s Rafah, June 18, 2024. (Emanuel Fabian/Times of Israel)

“We will continue to support Gaza and we are ready for anything. We are not afraid. Our demand is clear: A complete and permanent ceasefire in Gaza,” Nasrallah said, arguing that the ceasefire agreement recently presented by US President Joe Biden to Hamas does not stipulate that the halt in fighting should be permanent.

“However, every day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu comes out and says that a ceasefire is impossible,” Nasrallah claimed. Taking a swipe at Netanyahu’s far-right coalition partners Itamar Ben Gvir and Betzalel Smotrich, he predicted that they will “drag the enemy into the abyss.”

After his speech, he addresses the families of fallen Hezbollah operatives and Lebanese citizens displaced from the country’s south, saying that the terror group has been conducting the “largest battle since 1948” against Israel.

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