Hizbollah Warns Israel Against Continuing ‘Aggression’
Lebanon's Shiite Hizbollah warned Israel Sunday against "continued aggression by air, land or sea" in Lebanon, saying that it would "cost it dear."
"Israel knows very well that Lebanon is no longer available for it to come and go as it pleases," Hizbollah's deputy secretary-general Sheikh Naim Qassem said during a rally at Deir Qanun an-Nahr, near the southern Lebanese town of Tyre.
The leader of the Shiite group referred to increased violations of Lebanese air space and Friday's interception by the Israeli navy of a civilian vessel in Lebanese territorial waters.
"It will serve no purpose for Israel to claim that these are preventative steps, on the pretext that it fears new operations," said Sheikh Qassem, whose movement spearheaded the struggle which resulted in the May 24 withdrawal of the Jewish state from southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.
"There is nothing more for the enemy to do than leave our land, peacefully or through force, as the resistance will continue until all occupied land is freed," he added.
Lebanon, backed by Hizbollah, claims Israel still occupies its territory in the Shebaa Farms area, originally captured by the Jewish state from Syria in 1967.
According to the United Nations, Israel violated Lebanese airspace 123 times in the month since the October 7 capture by Hizbollah of three Israeli soldiers in the Shebaa Farms.
In Jerusalem army chief General Shaul Mofaz repeated Sunday that Israel considers Hezbollah responsible for the welfare of the captured soldiers.
"We consider the Hizbollah, but also Lebanon and Syria, responsible for the health of our soldiers," he told public radio, although he refused to confirm or deny a Lebanese press report that the three soldiers had been "seriously wounded" during their capture.
Despite repeated requests, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has not yet been allowed to visit the Hizbollah's prisoners.
The Shiite movement wants to exchange them for Arab detainees in Israel, refusing to give any details on the condition of the captives -- TYRE (AFP)
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