Nasrallah: We'll purge Lebanon's skies of Israeli UAVs

Hezbollah leader says bringing down UAVs is "natural" after Israeli UAV was fired at over the Lebanese territory.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Hassan Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday commented on the incident a day earlier in which an anti-aircraft missile was launched over Lebanese territory towards an IDF unmanned aircraft.

"Bringing down UAVs is a natural matter," Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

"Our goal is to purge Lebanese skies of Israeli violations. We will continue to act in this way regardless of internal developments in Lebanon," the Hezbollah leader stressed.

"Israel is confident that we will not dare to use the weapons we used yesterday - but the resistance proves that it is daring."

IDF sources confirmed on Thursday that the UAV was fired at, but added it was not hit. Hezbollah-affiliated media in Lebanon claimed that the drone was shot down.

In a separate incident last week, the IDF confirmed that one of its unmanned aircraft was lost while operating over the Israel-Lebanon border, but gave no details regarding the aircraft’s downing, nor did the IDF confirm if the drone aircraft was in Lebanese airspace at the time.

In his remarks on Friday, Nasrallah also commented on the protests in Lebanon which led to the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri earlier this week, saying a new government must listen to the demands that the fuelled protests.

"A new government must be formed as soon as possible ... and the new government must listen to the demands of the people who took to the streets," the Hezbollah leader said.

“There must be serious work because time is tight and so is people's patience," he added.

The protests in Lebanon were initially started in response to what has become known as the “WhatsApp Tax”, which would have seen a 20-cent daily fee being charged for messaging app users. The tax was later scrapped but the protests have continued and have morphed into a cross-sectarian street mobilization against a political system seen as corrupt and broken.

Following Hariri’s resignation, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Lebanon’s political leaders to help form a new government which will be responsive to the needs of its people and called for an end to endemic corruption.

On Thursday, two US officials said that the Trump administration is withholding $105 million in security aid for Lebanon. One of the reasons cited for the move is Washington’s growing concern over the growing role in the Beirut government of Hezbollah.

Hezbollah, which has a strong political presence in Lebanon, is a major part of the cabinet, after the group and its allies gained more than half the seats of the 128-member Lebanese parliament in the election last May.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)