JERUSALEM – Deputy Chief of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah Shia group Sheikh Naim Qassem vowed that the organization would protect Lebanon from any attempts by Israel to seize the country’s territory, Al-Manar broadcaster informs.
"We don’t accept that our land or our territorial water be lessened," Deputy Chief of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah Shia group Sheikh Naim Qassem said on Wednesday, as quoted by the Al-Manar broadcaster, adding that Hezbollah <link> was ready to resist any possible Israeli aggression.
Earlier this month, a Hezbollah official threatened to open a new front against Israel if the latter continues to target Syria and the Gaza Strip. The statement was made after a clash between Israeli and Iranian forces in Syria <link>, which resulted in the alleged downing of an Iranian drone and an Israeli aircraft. On Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the possible military conflict between Israel and Hezbollah was his "worst nightmare."
Hezbollah is a Lebanon-based Shia movement founded in 1980s and engaged in several military conflicts with Israel . The group is also supporting incumbent Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is a representative of the Alawites, a Syrian Shia minority.
As Israel tried to warn off foreign companies from accepting a Lebanese tender on a natural gas deposit located in the area of the Mediterranean Sea claimed by both Lebanon and Israel , it received a pointed retort from Hezbollah .
In 2006 Israeli armed forces invaded Lebanon in counter-move for a cross-border raid by Hezbollah which resulted in several Israeli soldiers being killed and two being abducted. The following conflict lasted 34 days and ended with a UN-brokered ceasefire, only after claiming the lives of about 1,200 Lebanese and some 160 Israelis.