Hezbollah assured the people of Lebanon Sunday that there would be no war in the country this summer, so long as Israel did not instigate, the Jerusalem Post reported. Speaking at a ceremony in southern Lebanon, the terror organization’s deputy leader, Sheikh Naim Qassem, said if Israel did make a move, the Jewish State would find Lebanon in full readiness to strike back.
“There are no signs that Israel is preparing for a new assault on Lebanon, but if she chooses to do so, she will find that Hezbollah is at maximum readiness,” Qassem declared. He also stated that ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Iraq would not spill over onto Lebanese soil.
Qassem credited Lebanese religious commitment and the hand of God with Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000. He painted the withdrawal as the beginning of Israel’s downfall.
“Divine victory in May 2000 ended the era of Israeli expansion,” said Qassem. “Israel is not able to behave as it could before, since she has learned a lesson and begun an era of decline. So, we have the right to look to the future and say that Israel will disappear.”
He added, “We did not defeat Israel because of the rifle, but because we have educated our children against the international takfiris (apostates). God gives us victory because of their faith, and today we are honored with the land, thanks to this belief.”
The speech comes on the heels of reports that Hezbollah is gearing up for the next round of conflict with Israel. Despite its involvement in both Syria and Iraq, the group has reportedly been digging terror attack tunnels, tracking IDF movement and positioning a large arsenal of rockets along Israel’s northern border.
While the tensions between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon remain mostly on the level of rhetoric and bluster for the time being, there have been sporadic reports of IDF actions against Hezbollah in Syria. Most recently, some foreign media outlets held Israel responsible for the assassination of top Hezbollah commander Mustafa Amine Badreddine in Damascus airport in early May.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also confirmed in April that the Israeli army had been sent “to prevent Hezbollah from acquiring game-changing weaponry”.
Israel’s Emergency Authority has also been preparing for the possibility of a new assault from both Hamas in the south and Hezbollah in the north.