Hezbollah Operated Deep in Israel: Nasrallah Warns No Place Will Be Safe

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has issued a stark warning, saying no location in Israel will be safe from Hezbollah's rockets and drones if a wider conflict breaks out, saying Hezbollah has used its worst missiles to date

by Sededin Dedovic
Hezbollah Operated Deep in Israel: Nasrallah Warns No Place Will Be Safe
© Francesca Volpi / Getty Images

The leader of the Lebanese organization Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, stated today that no one in Israel will be safe if a war breaks out between the two sides. Hezbollah has been exchanging fire with Israel for over eight months, and on Tuesday, it released aerial footage of sensitive military installations deep within Israeli territory.

"There will be no place in Israel safe from our rockets and drones if a wider war breaks out," Nasrallah said in a televised message. Nasrallah said that Hezbollah has a list of targets that can be hit with precision attacks, according to Reuters.

At the same time, Nasrallah threatened Cyprus for the first time, claiming that Nicosia allows Israel to use Cypriot airports for military exercises. "The Cypriot government must be warned that opening airports and bases to the Israeli enemy to strike Lebanon means it has become part of the war, and Hezbollah will treat it as a participant in the war," Nasrallah warned.

The Israeli military announced that plans for an offensive in Lebanon have been approved and confirmed amid escalating cross-border clashes with Lebanese Hezbollah and a relative lull in fighting in Gaza. The war in Gaza has heightened tensions throughout the region, and Israeli forces and the pro-Iranian Hezbollah, an ally of Palestinian Hamas, exchange fire almost daily.

Israeli commanders approved plans for an offensive at a meeting convened to assess the situation, according to a military statement reported by AFP yesterday. The plans were approved after Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz threatened to destroy Hezbollah in a "total war." The latest warning came after Israel announced daily pauses in military activity in the southernmost city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip over the weekend to facilitate the delivery of aid, coinciding with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

"We are very close to the moment when we will decide to change the rules of the game against Hezbollah and Lebanon. In a total war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be heavily impacted," Katz said in a ministry statement.

A firefighter extinguishes a fire that have broken at an instruction near the kibbutz located near the border with Lebanon as re© Amir Levy / Getty Images

Hezbollah is several times stronger militarily and technically than Hamas

Hezbollah has new weapons and intelligence capabilities that could help it target deep inside Israeli territory in the event of a full-scale war, said Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of this militant organization from Lebanon, today.

"We now have new weapons. But I won’t say what kind. When the decision is made, it will be seen on the front lines," he said in a televised address commemorating a high-ranking Hezbollah commander killed last week in an Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon.

In October, Hezbollah used domestically-made drones and surface-to-air missiles against Israeli aircraft for the first time since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas. Nasrallah stated in 2021 that Hezbollah has 100,000 fighters, but now claims there are many more, without specifying a number.

He also said he declined offers from allied countries and militias in the region that could add tens of thousands of fighters to Hezbollah's ranks. A nearly 10-minute video, purportedly recorded by a Hezbollah drone, shows parts of Haifa – a city not close to the Israel-Lebanon border.

The video was released yesterday. Nasrallah said today that Hezbollah has many more such videos — a clear threat that its attacks could reach deep into Israeli territory. The head of the Israeli army, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, visited Israeli air defense soldiers near the Lebanon border today and said that Israel is aware of Hezbollah's capabilities shown in the footage and has solutions for these threats.

"The enemy knows only a small part of our capabilities and will see them when necessary," Halevi said. Hezbollah, an ally of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, has been exchanging fire with Israel almost daily since the war in Gaza broke out on October 7.

Hezbollah aims to force Israel to withdraw its forces from Gaza. Hezbollah's attacks escalated after Israel expanded its offensive in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza last month. Last week, a high-ranking Hezbollah commander, Taleb Sami Abdullah, was killed in an Israeli attack.

The Israeli military then announced yesterday that it had "approved and confirmed" plans for an offensive in Lebanon, although the decision to actually launch such an operation would have to come from the political leadership of the Jewish state.

Senior advisor to US President Joe Biden, Amos Hochstein, met with officials in Lebanon and Israel this week in an effort to de-escalate tensions. Hochstein told reporters in Berlin yesterday that the situation is "very serious" and that a diplomatic solution to prevent a larger war must be urgently reached.

Nasrallah said today that a broader war with Lebanon would have regional implications and that Hezbollah would attack any country in the region that supports Israel, including Cyprus, which hosted Israeli forces for military exercises.