Hezbollah warned Israel on Friday of the consequences of “expanding the occupation” on the Lebanese border in light of the continuation of daily mutual bombardment since October 8, as the Iran-backed Shiite group's deputy secretary-general announced. . Sheikh Naim Qasim said the party was ready for “an occupation without beginning and end”, linking the return of borders and stability to the region to an end to the war in Gaza.
The Deputy General Secretary took the oath For Hezbollah On Friday, Israel was given “larger room and stronger action” if it “expands its occupation” along the border with Lebanon.
Sheikh Naim Qasim said in a statement: “If the Israelis decide to expand the occupation, they will respond with a big slap and strong action.” He added: “The enemy must know that the Party's preparedness is very high. We are preparing on the basis that there may be an occupation that has no beginning and no end, and our readiness to defeat the occupation has no beginning and no end.”
Qassem once again linked the restoration of borders and stability in the region to a “complete cessation of aggression against Gaza”.
Likewise, Mohammad Rath, head of the Iranian-backed Shiite party's parliamentary committee, said, “The Israeli enemy is not ready for war to face what the Islamic resistance in Lebanon has prepared for it, and that will show him.” In full force, according to a report by the official Lebanese News Agency.
Read moreIsraeli military intensifies bombing in southern Lebanon.
On the other hand, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant confirmed that the army is ready to ensure security at the border “by force”. “As long as the war continues in the south, there will be war in the north. But we will not accept this situation to continue,” he said, adding, “There will come a time when we will not be able to reach an agreement. Hezbollah respects the right of people on the border to live in safety. Security must be ensured by force.”
It comes after Israeli army chief Herzey Halevi said on Wednesday that the possibility of war breaking out in northern Israel “in the coming months” is “much higher than in the past”. On the same day, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that a “total conflict” between the two sides would be “absolutely catastrophic”.
On Friday, Israeli strikes led to the “total destruction” of at least three houses in the village of Kafr Gila in southern Lebanon, according to the Lebanon News Agency and the border town's mayor. Israeli aircraft targeted three houses in the morning, leading to their “total destruction,” the national news agency reported. It also targeted another house in the afternoon, coinciding with artillery shelling that hit a fifth house in the city.
For his part, the mayor of Kafr Gila city, Hasan Sheet, said: “Around a hundred residents were staying in Kafr Gila, luckily the targeted houses were empty.”
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The Israeli military said in a statement on Friday that it had “carried out airstrikes and artillery and tank shelling on Hezbollah observation points and terrorist infrastructure” in the Houla and Kafar Gila sectors.
In turn, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for three attacks, two of which used a large-explosive-carrying “Burkhan” missile against “Israeli enemy positions along the border.”
Since October 8, there has been daily shelling between Hezbollah and the Israeli army. The escalation led to the deaths of more than 195 people in Lebanon, including at least 142 fighters from the party.
The army said 15 people were killed on the Israeli side, nine soldiers and six civilians.