Hezbollah Executive Council chief Sheikh Nabil Qaouk boasted to the Lebanese The Daily Star paper that Hezbollah was preparing for its next confrontation with Israel, and thousands of Sunni fighters will join forces with the Shi’ite terror group at that time.
Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims follow different traditions, and the two groups are often violently at odds with one another. This is no less true in Lebanon, where Hezbollah’s active support for Bashar Assad in Syria’s civil war has heightened sectarian tensions in the country. Qaouk accused Israel of trying to exploit these divisions.
“Hezbollah’s response to Israel’s bet on Sunni-Shi’ite strife is this: The resistance is preparing for the next war with Israel, and thousands of our Sunni brothers in Lebanon will be among the ranks [of the] resistance,” Qaouk said during a Hezbollah ceremony in Sidon.
Qaouk differentiated between Islamic State (ISIS) militants, who are Sunni, and their co-religionists, calling the former “takfiris”, a term for those who label others as apostates. He pointed out that ISIS has killed great numbers of Sunnis as well, and that they are considered “in a place of animosity against Sunnis and Shi’ites alike.”
He also expressed concern that Lebanon might be ISIS’s next target.
Meanwhile, the same Lebanese paper reported that Hezbollah deputy chief Naim Qassem implied confirmation of earlier claims that the group had captured an Israeli spy last month.
“There is no party in the world as big and sophisticated as Hezbollah that was able to stand with the same steadfastness despite some major infiltrations,” Qassem told Hezbollah’s An-Nour radio station.
“Hezbollah has worked intensely on battling espionage among its ranks and in its entourage. Some cases [of espionage] surfaced, and they are very limited cases,” he said.