Despite the Hezbollah chief’s initial much anticipated speech which did not give Israel ultimatums or make a declaration of war, his more recent speech upped the stakes towards a regional conflict.
Hezbollah’s chief said November 11th that the group was using new weapons in its attacks on Israel, as exchanges of fire on Lebanon’s southern border intensify. His comments came on the same day that Israel dropped a number of leaflets written in Arabic warning people living in Southern Lebanon to leave their homes, suggesting an imminent strike was likely.
According to the New Arab, just recently the Iran-backed group has “bolstered” its action “on the Lebanese front in terms of the number of operations, targets and the type of weapons,” Hassan Nasrallah said in his second televised address since the conflict in Gaza began shortly after October 7th. And this time he was happy to elaborate on the specific types of weapons, given the first speech only warned Israel and it had the capability to strike back.
Hezbollah has used “Burkan missiles,” for the first time, he said, adding that they could carry “a payload of 300-500 kilogrammes.”
The exchanges between Hezbollah and Israel are quite restrained though, yet nonetheless last month killed at least 11 civilians in Lebanon, as well as 68 Hezbollah fighters and 12 other combatants, according to an AFP tally.
Six soldiers and two civilians have been killed in northern Israel.
Hezbollah fighters “are putting themselves on the front line to launch rockets” at Israeli targets, Nasrallah said, adding that Israeli drones were constantly flying over southern Lebanon.
Noting attacks on Israel and on US troops in the Middle East by other Iran-backed groups including from Iraq and Yemen, Nasrallah told Washington: “If you Americans want to stop these operations… you must stop the war on Gaza.”
Israel’s siege, bombardment and ground offensive has killed 11,078 people in Gaza, including 4,506 children, according to the health ministry in Gaza.
Israeli officials say Hamas militants killed about 1,200 people and took some 240 hostage in their 7 October attacks.