Nasrallah: We Don't Want War, But Don't Test Us

Hezbollah chief threatens Israel that the conflict could go beyond Lebanon's borders in any new war.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Friday that his group is not seeking confrontation with Israel, but warned the Jewish state that the conflict could go beyond Lebanon's borders in any new war, AFP reported.

In an address via video link to thousands of supporters who gathered in Hezbollah's southern Beirut stronghold, Nasrallah declared that Hezbollah’s response to any future Israeli attack will no longer be limited to Lebanese territory.

He said Hezbollah would no longer respect "the rules of engagement".

"We do not want war... but the resistance is militarily ready, and we are not afraid of war," Nasrallah said, using the term "resistance" to refer to Hezbollah.

"You tested us, do not test us again," he warned Israel.

His address came two days after Hezbollah carried out a missile strike that killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven others near the Israel-Lebanon border.

The strike was in retaliation for a January 18 airstrike inside Syria, attributed to Israel, that killed six Hezbollah fighters, including senior official Jihad Mughniyeh, and an Iranian general.

 The Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy committee head, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, visited Beirut on Friday for the Hezbollah rally, according to AFP.

"I want to be clear: the resistance will no longer recognise any such thing as the rules of engagement, or of confrontation," said Nasrallah, appearing both defiant and relaxed.

"It is our right -- legally, in human terms and morally -- to face the enemy anywhere, any time and in any way we deem appropriate," he warned.

Nasrallah condemned Israel over the airstrike on the Syrian-held sector of the Golan Heights as "an assassination carried out in broad daylight".

"We will bear Israel responsible for any (future) killing in cold blood of a Hezbollah youth," he threatened.

Nasrallah also said the fact that an Iranian general had been killed alongside Hezbollah fighters on Syrian territory proved their "unity in cause, fate and battle".

He said Hezbollah planned its counter-strike against Israel, which he described as "highly professional... and intelligent", just a few hours after the Golan attack.

"They killed us in broad daylight, and we did too," said Nasrallah, adding that Israel's strike was at "11:30 a.m. or 11:45, and ours was at 11:25 or 11:35."

"They killed and wounded our men, we killed and wounded theirs. Missiles for missiles," added the Hezbollah leader.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon warned Hezbollah on Wednesday, following its attack on the soldiers, that Israel would have “zero tolerance” for any attacks.

"Iran and Hezbollah are trying, and will continue to try, to harm Israel in any way, from the Golan Heights and certainly from Lebanon, through uninhibited terrorist networks who plan to act against military and civilian targets," Ya'alon said.

"The State of Israel has zero tolerance for terrorist organizations, and we will act forcefully and decisively against anyone that challenges its and try to harm its citizens," he threatened. "We will not allow terrorist groups and rogue states to harm or attempt to harm the security of Israeli citizens."

(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.)