Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Friday that his Lebanon-based terrorist group was capable of striking any target in Israel, declaring that “the days when we fled and they did not are over.”
”Today we are not just able to target Tel Aviv as a city but also with God’s will and strength we are able to strike very specific targets in Tel Aviv and in any place in occupied Palestine,” Nasrallah said in a televised address, essentially admitting that his militia was arming itself with advanced long-range missiles in violation of U.N. Resolution 1701.
Hezbollah is based in southern Lebanon, which borders Israel. According to the U.N. resolution that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah, only U.N. forces can carry arms south of the Litani River.
”For every building that is destroyed in the suburbs, there will be buildings destroyed in Tel Aviv,” he said, referring to Hezbollah’s stronghold in a suburb of southern Beirut.
Nasrallah’s comments were some of his harshest words against Israel in several months, and came amid rising tensions between Israel and Hezbollah’s main backer, Iran.
Israel argues Iran’s nuclear enrichment program is being used to make an atomic bomb and has warned it could launch a military strike to stop Tehran. Iran insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes.
Hezbollah has long been seen as a proxy of Iran and Syria and many analysts believe that in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran, Hezbollah could return fire.
”The time when our homes are destroyed and theirs remain intact is over. The days when we were afraid and they were not are over. And we say to them: The time has come when we will remain and you will be the ones who disappear,” Nasrallah told his supporters on Friday.
Hezbollah is both a powerful political party and terrorist group in Lebanon and fought Israel in 2006. The group claimed it won a victory even though Lebanon suffered high casualties and many areas were heavily bombed.
Nasrallah was speaking at an event to mark the completion of Hezbollah’s reconstruction projects for neighborhoods in southern suburbs of Beirut that were destroyed by Israeli bombing in the 2006 war.
Nasrallah also said the crisis in Syria could potentially resemble Iraq in the years following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
”The Syrian people face two options, either they go to dialogue and reform and elections and participation and cooperation or they face the option that is presented now whose spectacular images we have seen in the bitter years in Iraq and are still seeing now,” Nasrallah said adding that there were some countries supplying not just the weapons and the money but also volunteers for suicide operations.