Netanyahu Responds to Nasrallah: If Hezbollah Confronts Israel, They’ll ‘Get a Crushing Blow'

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, September 5, 2018.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, September 5, 2018.Credit: \ RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS

If Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah "confronts us he will get a crushing blow that he cannot even imagine," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday in a video.

In the video, Netanyahu responded to Nasrallah's statement earlier Thursday that Hezbollah is getting precision rockets despite Israeli actions to cut smuggling routes through Syria.

"No matter what you do to cut the route, the matter is over and the resistance possesses precision and non-precision rockets and weapons capabilities," Nasrallah said, addressing Israel in a broadcast speech.

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In response, Netanyahu said: "I heard Hezbollah's bravado. It came from the same person who said after 2006 [Second Lebanon War] that if he knew what Israel's response would be to the kidnapping of our three soldiers, he would have thought consider twice whether to do it. So today I suggest that he think not twice but twenty times, because if he confronts us he will get a crushing blow that he cannot even imagine."

"If Israel imposes a war on Lebanon, Israel will face a fate and a reality it has never expected on any day," Nasrallah said, adding that Israel is aware that technology alone cannot be decisive in a war.

On Thursday,  at a Yom Kippur War memorial ceremony, Netanyahu also said that Israel will act with full force if war is imposed upon it: "We must make every effort to prevent war, but if it is imposed upon us, we will act with full force against those who would kill us."

Israel was forced to make a rare admission that it was behind the attack on Tuesday after a Russian jet was downed on Monday by Syrian aerial defenses, killing 15 troops.

In the video Netanyahu uploaded Thursday, he also spoke about Israel's relationship with Russia, referring to the condolences he offered Russia's President Vladimir Putin Tuesday in a phone call: "On my behalf of and on behalf of the citizens of Israel, I expressed my condolences for the deaths of 15 Russian air crew members whose plane was shot down by Syrian fire. I told him that the root of the problem was Iran's attempt to use Syrian territory for attacks against Israel and to arm our enemies like Hezbollah. I told him that we have the right to self-defense, and yet it was very important to maintain the security coordination between Israel and Russia. I therefore decided to send the commander of the air force, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, to Moscow, in order to continue to protect our citizens while maintaining cooperation between the two countries."

Norkin is leading an air force delegation that left Thursday to Moscow in an attempt to ease the tensions caused by Monday night’s incident, in which Syrian anti-aircraft missiles downed a Russian plane while trying to thwart an Israeli airstrike on Syrian port city Latakia

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