Following the growing tension between Iran and Israel over Iran’s nuclear project, the Lebanese Shi’a militant group Hezbollah has pledged to make the lives of Israelis hell if Israel attacks Lebanon. The comment came on Friday after Hezbollah’s leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, spoke during a televised speech marking Al-Quds Day (Jerusalem Day). Al-Quds Day is a day of solidarity held annually around the world, first introduced in Iran by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late supreme leader of Iran, in 1979.
Nasrallah threatened to launch missiles directed at Israeli targets saying that Hezbollah “will not hesitate to use them, if we have to, at any point in time in the course of aggression against our country to protect our people.” Nasrallah boasted that Hezbollah has the capability of hitting specific targets which would leave tens of thousands of people dead, without mentioning what type of targets he was referring to.”Hezbollah cannot destroy Israel,” he admitted, “but we can transform the lives of millions of Zionists in occupied Palestine into a real hell.” Nasrallah also threatened Israel if they attack Iran, saying that it would be the opportunity Iran has been waiting for since the modern state was founded in 1979. Officially, Israel has remained in a state of war with Lebanon since the beginning of the 2006 Lebanon war.
Over the past month, Israel and Iran have been engaged in a war of words.
Iran reacted on Friday to the rumours of a possible war with Israel. According to Al-Jazeera, the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israel a “cancerous tumour.” He continued his verbal attack by saying that there would be no “Zionist regime and no United States [domination] in the new Middle East map.”
“The occupied territories should be fully returned to the Palestinians,” said Ahmadinejad. “Nobody in the world can say he is in favour of human rights and approve of the Zionist regime.”
Iranian media has accused Israel of staging the assassination of five Iranian nuclear scientists over the past two years, and has pledged to continue their pursuit of nuclear technology, much to the distaste of the Israelis. Last month, Haaretz reported that a contingency plan for dealing with Iran was drafted by the US and shared with Israel. Reuters reported that a senior Israeli official denied the plan. Nevertheless reports of such plans are not uncommon and are indicative of the growing fear of a war between Israel and Iran becoming a reality.
The tensions between Iran and Israel are deep-rooted and concern Palestinian sovereignty, Zionism and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology. Israel and their allies are against such technology being utilised by Iran out of fear that Iran would turn to making nuclear weapons. Iranian Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali told the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that Israel had to be destroyed and to “completely eliminate the aggressive nature and to destroy Israel is our only intended use for advanced weapons.”