Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah will reportedly give a television interview this week following an extended absence from the public eye, i24news reported on Sunday.
The interview will air on the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen network, which is affiliated with Hezbollah. The network said that in the interview, Nasrallah is expected to address Israel’s Operation Northern Shield for the first time since the Israeli initiative was made public in early December.
Lebanese media reported several weeks ago that Nasrallah was hospitalized after an apparent heart attack, with some reports claiming he is also fighting cancer.
However, reports that Nasrallah is sick were rejected by Hossein Amirabdollahian, assistant to Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, who called such an assertion the "biggest lie of the new year.”
"Recent claims by Zionists about Seyed Hassan Nasrallah's (secretary-general of Lebanon's Hezbollah) illness & heart attack is biggest lie of the new year," he tweeted.
Last week, a purported recording of Nasrallah himself was broadcast on the Iranian Al-Alam network, in which Nasrallah is heard denying that his health has deteriorated and calling such reports Israeli "psychological warfare."
Al-Mayadeen released a brief teaser video of Nasrallah’s interview on Sunday evening, featuring the message: “Hezbollah’s secretary-general breaks his silence that frightens the occupation.”
“In occupied Palestine, Israel’s leadership is boasting about its Northern Shield, taking pride in its battles against Hezbollah and Syria and threatening Iran. In this way, Hezbollah’s leader responds,” said the network.
The IDF launched Operation Northern Shield in order to dismantle terrorist tunnels dug by Hezbollah from Lebanon into Israeli territory.
Last week, the end of the operation was announced after Israeli troops discovered six tunnels dug by Hezbollah into Israeli territory.
Hezbollah has been conspicuously silent since the start of the Israeli operation, though other Lebanese officials have spoken about it.
Shortly after the IDF operation began, Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil claimed that Israel’s actions near the border with his country are preparation for a military assault on Lebanon and instructed Lebanon’s permanent representative to the UN, to submit a complaint against Israel in this matter.
Later, however, Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, said that Israel’s operation won’t endanger the calm along the frontier.