Nasrallah: Saudi Arabia inciting Israel to attack Lebanon

Hezbollah leader says group is watching for Israeli attempts to attack Lebanon.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Hassan Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that Saudi Arabia had declared war on Lebanon and Hezbollah, accusing Riyadh of detaining Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and forcing him to resign.

In a televised speech quoted by Haaretz, Nasrallah also claimed that Saudi Arabia is inciting Israel to strike Lebanon, and his group is watching carefully for any Israeli attempts to use the crisis to begin hostilities against Lebanon.

At the same time, he also said Israel is being cautious and unlikely to make such a move.

"Let us say things as they are: the man is detained in Saudi Arabia and and forbidden until this moment from returning to Lebanon," Nasrallah said, in reference to Hariri's resignation last Saturday, which he described as an "unprecedented Saudi intervention" in Lebanese politics.

"It is clear that Saudi Arabia and Saudi officials have declared war on Lebanon and on Hezbollah in Lebanon," he said, adding that Lebanon's government was still legitimate and had not resigned and claiming that Hariri's "forced" resignation is unconstitutional because it was done "under duress."

Nasrallah then went on to claim that Saudi Arabia was encouraging Israel to attack Lebanon. While an Israeli attack could not be ruled out entirely, he said, it was unlikely partly because Israel knew it would pay a very high price.

"I warn them against any miscalculation or any step to exploit the situation," he was quoted as having said.

"Today we are more confident and feeling stronger in the face of any threat," added Nasrallah.

Hariri, whose father held the same position and was assassinated in 2005, on Saturday unexpectedly announced his resignation in a broadcast from the Saudi capital.

He cited the "grip" of Hezbollah ally Iran on the country, and also said he feared for his life.

Since then, reports have surfaced that Saudi Arabia has been holding Hariri against his will.

Nasrallah's remarks are not the first time that he has claimed there are links between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Last year, he blasted Saudi Arabia for its alleged “normalization with Israel.”

"Saudi Arabia has taken advantage of the ailing Arab situation, only to build relations with Israel. The price will be at the account of the Palestinians," he warned.

Those comments came after Hezbollah was blacklisted as a terrorist organization by Gulf states – a move which, Nasrallah claimed, was connected to Arab states' desire to normalize ties with Israel.

(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.)