War of words
'We Will Destroy Lebanon to its Core'

Minister Katz responds to Hezbollah leader Nasrallah's threats on Israel, warning 'we'll return Lebanon to the stone age.'

Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar ,

Yisrael Katz
Yisrael Katz
Flash 90

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) on Tuesday evening responded to the words of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who made a rare appearance the day before in which he threatened to close Israeli sea and airports with rocket barrages in the next war.

"To remove doubt, the boastful coward Nasrallah should know: an option like that doesn't exist as far as we're concerned," said Katz. "If a scenario like that happens, we will destroy Lebanon to its core, and return it to the stone age - and him (Nasrallah) under the stones."

In his speech broadcast on the Lebanese TV station Al Manar for the Shi'ite holiday of Ashura, the terror leader said his organization is fighting for Syrian President Bashar Assaid in Syria to prevent a "Zionist hegemony" in the region, warning Israel not to get involved.

"We need to open our eyes on Israel," said Nasrallah. "We are completely ready in southern Lebanon despite the presence of our fighters in Syria, and we have the capability to hit every point in Israel."

Nasrallah apparently was referring to appraisals that Hezbollah has ten times more rocket firepower than Hamas, and that the Iron Dome reportedly can not be used as effectively on the northern border due to the high rocky terrain.

The terror leader claimed "we are not afraid of war. We are a true threat on Israel and we aren't deterred by their threats. Their threats aren't based on military strength, but rather on their lost hope."

"The Arab League needs firmness against the Israeli aggression on Al-Aqsa (Mosque) and settlement building," continued Nasrallah. "Israel is manipulating the upheavals in the Arab world to achieve its goals."

IDF Northern Commander Maj. Gen. Yair Golan last Wednesday acknowledged that Hezbollah has likely dug terror tunnels into Israel. The IDF has been playing down the northern tunnel threat that has been reported on by residents of the area, although IDF sources have revealed to Arutz Sheva that the army is covertly conducting an investigation of the threat.

Another senior IDF source on Sunday said "Hezbollah has no interest in starting a war with Israel now," arguing that security details to northern communities do not need to be returned. The decision to cut guard duty has raised fears, after a similar move along Gaza last year saw an escalation in terror and, eventually, war.

Northern residents have responded to the apparent apathy to the situation by arming themselves, with gun ownership along the Lebanese and Syrian border communities rising as high as 60% in recent weeks. 

Meanwhile, US officials revealed last week that US President Barack Obama's administration has been cozying up to Hezbollah by providing intelligence information aiding its fight with Syrian rebel groups in Lebanon.