Nasrallah: Hezbollah Doesn't Want War With Israel - but Isn't Afraid of One

Leader of Hezbollah says group has right to respond to Israeli 'aggression,' two days after border attack that killed two Israeli soldiers.

Hassan Nasrallah speaking through a giant screen on January 30, 2014 in Beirut.
Shi'ite supporters watch Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, addressing them through a giant screen on January 30, 2014 in Beirut. AFP

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech on Friday that the Lebanese Shi'ite militia has the right to respond to Israeli 'aggression' in any place. His remarks came two days after his group attacked an Israeli army convoy on the Lebanon border, killing two soldiers

"You tried us, don't try us again. We don't want war, but we're not afraid of it. If we're forced into war, we'll know how to handle it and we'll win," Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah was speaking at an event to commemorate the deaths of six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general killed by an air strike in Syria on January 18, that has been attributed to Israel. 

"Lebanese and Iranian blood was mixed on Syrian soil," Nasrallah said, accusing Israel of "acting freely in Lebanon and in the skies of the Middle East," with Arab countries putting no boundaries to it. Israel "took advantage of the atmosphere in Arab states to attack in Quneitra," Nasrallah said, referring to the airstrike.

"The main question to arise after the Quneitra incident was 'would Hezbollah respond? When, how and where?' The answer was received on Wednesday. All Israel tensed up since the Quneitra incident and that says a lot about Israeli fear of Hezbollah, and about Hezbollah's deterrence. Despite all its technologies, Israel failed to prevent our response." 

On Wednesday morning, two Israeli soldiers were killed and seven wounded after an anti-tank missile struck an Israel Defense Forces vehicle in the Har Dov area near the Lebanon border.

IDF forces responded with artillery fire, shelling several targets in southern Lebanon. A Spanish UNIFIL soldier was killed in the strikes.

The cross-border violence came after an unconfirmed Israeli airstrike in the Syrian controlled Golan Heights, which killed six Hezbollah officers, including Jihad Mugniyeh, a prominent operative.

The airstrike also killed several Iranians, including one general. After the airstrike, both Hezbollah and Iran vowed to respond against Israel.