Nasrallah: no Israel-Lebanon border demarcation talks until after Gaza war

Hezbollah leader throws wrench in US initiative to settle border dispute and drive terror organization away from border, says group carried out '670 operations' against Israel since start of war

Lior Ben-Ari|
In a speech to his supporters in Beirut, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday expressed his opposition to land border delineation negotiations between Lebanon and Israel in an effort to de-escalate tensions, saying such talks are unacceptable before the cessation of fighting in the Gaza Strip.
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"We stand before a historic opportunity to liberate every inch of Lebanese territory and to prevent the enemy from violating Lebanese sovereignty on land, in the air and at sea. Any discussion or negotiation on this matter will not start until the aggression against Gaza ceases," he said.
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חסן נסראללה
חסן נסראללה
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah
(Photo: REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir)
Nasrallah's statements come in response to Washington’s efforts to negotiate a land border demarcation agreement between Israel and Lebanon in exchange for distancing Hezbollah from the border.
Nasrallah said that Hezbollah has carried out 670 "operations" at the border with Israel since the start of the war.
"Between 6-7 operations a day. There wasn't a single border outpost that wasn't hit several times," he asserted. "The sites were attacked not only with anti-tank weapons but also using various means," he added, claiming that the organization's attacks are "exhausting Israel."
Nasrallah also claimed that "48 of the border posts were attacked more than once. Hezbollah carried out 494 attacks, including 50 attacks on border points that were attacked more than once. The organization also targeted the technical and intelligence equipment along the border, which was completely destroyed."
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תיעוד ממצלמת הרכב: פגיעת נ"ט שירה חיזבאללה לעבר הצפון
תיעוד ממצלמת הרכב: פגיעת נ"ט שירה חיזבאללה לעבר הצפון
Hezbollah anti-tank missile attack on Israel as caught on car's dashcam
(Photo: Alex Duchman)
The reliability of his claims is unclear and may be aimed at a domestic Lebanese audience to justify the many Hezbollah fighters lost in the exchanges of fire.
The Shiite cleric addressed the residents of northern Israel who were evacuated from their homes due to the war, urging them to demand the government stop the war in Gaza.
"I appeal to those evacuated from their homes in the north, who seek a government-led war with Lebanon – this is a misguided choice. Those who will first pay the price for this mistake are you, the northern residents. The solution is to demand the government stop its aggression against Gaza," he said.
Nasrallah reiterated his promise to respond to the assassination of Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut, saying that his organization cannot remain silent about it and warning that "all of Lebanon will be exposed" to Israeli attacks if there is no response.
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סאלח אל-עארורי
סאלח אל-עארורי
Saleh al-Arouri
He emphasized that the response "will be met on the ground." He said, "What happened in the southern Dahieh [District] of Beirut is a scandalous and significant violation and it will not go unanswered or unpunished, the word will be kept on the ground."
Meanwhile, the Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen reported that the leadership of the Shia terrorist organization has ordered a "proportionate and deterring" response to al-Arouri's killing.
Addressing the assassination of a prominent pro-Iranian militiaman in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad Thursday, the Hezbollah leader said that "Iraq now has the opportunity to rid itself of American presence in the country."
Nasrallah also heaped praise on Yemen’s Houthi rebels for the attacks on major maritime trade routes which made them a “part of the equation.”
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מגויסים חדשים לכח החותי
מגויסים חדשים לכח החותי
Houthi rebels in Yemen
(Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah)
“The U.S. needs to understand that it's not just facing Ansar Allah (the official name of the Houthi forces) but millions of Yemeni people who have defeated all the aggressors,” he said.
Nasrallah concluded his speech with a warning to his supporters in Lebanon. "If the Israelis succeed in Gaza, South Lebanon will be next," he said.
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