U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen criticized Israel for withholding work permits and blocking travel by Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, saying the measures hurt both sides and risked tipping off a broader regional conflict.
Hassan Nasrallah © Mena Today
Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah, addressed the ongoing conflict with Israel in a speech on Friday.
The Shiite organization, funded by Iran, initiated attacks against Israel on October 8th, prompting Israeli military responses whenever its territory is targeted.
"Since October 8th, we have been in a war with the enemy on the southern front. We have already explained the motivations for this. We have been fighting over an area of more than 100 km, up to this day, for over 90 days. We have targeted all the border positions and a large number of deeper enemy positions and 'settlements.' The resistance has conducted 670 operations in three months, averaging 6 to 7 operations per day," Nasrallah stated.
"To those who ask us why we are fighting on the front (in southern Lebanon), we are obliged to answer them. There are two objectives on this front: to exert pressure on the enemy and its government to stop the aggression against Gaza. The goal of all fronts is to stop this aggression. The second objective is to alleviate the pressure on the resistance in Gaza," he added.
At the end of his speech, Hassan Nasrallah stated that he hoped, "after the end of the war in Gaza, to liberate the Chebaa Farms, Kfar Chouba, and the village of Ghajar."
He promised a response after the assassination of a Hamas leader in the southern suburbs of Beirut.
While Nasrallah refers as a war, the situation has mostly involved bloody skirmishes, resulting in casualties on both the Israeli and Lebanese sides.
Under UN Resolution 1701, militants are prohibited from being in the border zone, with a restriction extending 30km from there. However, this resolution has never been adhered to by Hezbollah, despite the presence of UN peacekeepers.
UN military personnel are unable to freely patrol the southern part of Lebanon and monitor the militia's activities.
The majority of the Lebanese army is sympathetic to Hezbollah, but it patrols without having a substantive role.
Hassan Nasrallah takes his orders from Tehran. He is aware that a majority of Lebanese people are against a new conflict with Israel.
A war would be devastating for Lebanon, which is already in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis, as well as for his movement.
Therefore, he is attempting to strike a balance with a well-crafted rhetoric, offering support but not excessive, to the axis of resistance, which includes Hamas in Gaza.
By Bruno FINEL
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