Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, called on the Jews of Israel Sunday to return to the countries from which they came "to occupied Palestine." He also warned "the Jews" not to push for a war with Syria or Lebanon, saying Israel would be trapped in a conflaguration that it would have no idea how to exit.
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The leader of the Lebanese Shi'ite militia that has spent decades fighting Israel, was speaking via telecast to supporters from inside his bunker hideout, on the occasion of Ashura, a Muslim holiday. Nasrallah's comments followed his warning that if Israel launched a war against Syria or Lebanon, thousands of fighters from Iran, Iraq, and Yemen might join the battle in their defense.
In his remarks Sunday, Nasrallah drew a distinction between Zionist and non-Zionist Jews. He also called on Arab and Muslim countries not to depend on the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which he said was trying to divide the region.
"If it depended upon the United States, the Islamic State would still be expanding and winning in all of the countries of the region," Nasrallah said.
Addressing Israelis directly, he said if the Israeli government ventured into "an adventure" in Lebanon against Hezbollah, it would be wandering into something it knew how to get into, but not how to get out.
Nasrallah said the Israeli government did not have “a correct assessment of where this war will lead if they ignite it.“
"They do not have a correct picture about what is awaiting them if they go to the idiocy of this war,” Nasrallah said.
The Israeli army last faced off with Hezbollah on a large scale in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, when Hezbollah directed rocket fire throughout northern Israel. The fighting ended through United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701.
On Saturday, Nasrallah spoke about what he said was Israeli spying on Lebanon including he said, cameras hidden within Lebanese territory. In yet another warning he said if such so called spy activities were not ended through diplomatic means, "We will find other means to deal with it." He called the alleged espionage a blatant violation of Resolution 1701.
Turning his attention to the Syrian civil war, Nasrallah said the West was seeking to implement a new plan to divide the region after failing to achieve its goals in Syria. The initial step, he said, was in Kurdistan, where he claimed the West was seeking to splinter the area into communal factions. He said that would only further Israel's interests.
Hezbollah, a political and military movement, has gone from a major force in Lebanon to a key player in the Syrian conflict, where it has deployed thousands of fighters in support of President Bashar al-Assad.
Hezbollah fighters are currently fighting along other Iran-backed militias and the Syrian army against Islamic State militants in eastern Syria.