BEIRUT: Hezbollah Chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned Israel Friday that any attack on Lebanon would be met with a fierce response that would kill tens of thousands of Israelis and turn the Jewish state into a hell on earth.
He also said that the case of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria two months ago was beyond the control of his party and that of the Amal Movement, and added that the two parties cannot be expected to influence the families of the kidnapped, who have taken to protesting on the airport road and elsewhere.
"War with Lebanon would be very, very, very costly," Nasrallah said in a televised speech marking Jerusalem Day.
"We know of certain targets that can be hit by a small number of rockets that would turn the lives of hundreds of thousands of Zionists into hell," he added.
Nasrallah also noted that the rockets are already directed at those targets and ready to be launched should Israel attack Lebanon.
“When our country is attacked, we will not wait for permission from anyone,” the Hezbollah leader said.
He said that Israel has escalated its tone about destroying Lebanon, adding that although Israel has the power to do so, Hezbollah could punish the Jewish state.
“I'm not saying I can destroy Israel, but I can say that Hezbollah has the ability to turn the lives of millions of Zionists in occupied Palestine into a real hell," Nasrallah said. “We can change the face of Israel."
Nasrallah also spoke about recent tensions in the country that saw the kidnapping of over 20 Syrians and a Turkish national by a local clan in retaliation for the abduction of one of the clan's relatives in Damascus by Syrian rebels.
Earlier this week, relatives of the 11 Shiite pilgrims who were kidnapped in Syria on May 22 blocked the road leading to the Beirut airport, with one of their representatives issuing what appeared to be threats against citizens of countries supporting the Syrian rebels.
Several Gulf countries and the U.S. have issued travel warnings and evacuated their nationals from Lebanon.
Nasrallah said “what happened in the past two days is out of the control of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement,” criticizing local media for what he described as their “catastrophic behavior.”
“With such unethical behavior on the part of the media and [political factions], what is happening is not under control and everyone bears responsibility,” Nasrallah said.
Earlier this week, some media outlets reported that the 11 Lebanese abductees were killed in an air raid by the Syrian army on the area where they were thought to be held. Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry denied the reports.
Nasrallah said his party was “incapable of reaching the captors or acting” and that its options were limited.
“We in Lebanon cannot do anything, but we can act in an ethical and civilized way in the media,” he said.
Speaking about Israel’s repeated threats to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, Nasrallah said the Jewish state knows very well that Iran’s response would be devastating.
“Iran is a strong and courageous state ... The Israelis, myself and everyone else know that Iran’s response would be great and shocking were it to be hit by Israel,” he said.
“If Israel attacked, it would give Iran the golden opportunity it has been waiting for,” Nasrallah added.
He added that Israel was afraid of Iran and that the former recognized that the cost of a strike on the Islamic Republic outweighs the benefits.
“Israel’s problem with Iran is that it is a strong, Islamic state that has prospects for further strength and development ... and that Iran is committed ideologically to the Palestinian cause,” he said.
Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have repeatedly spoken of the possibility of a unilateral strike against Iran, while the U.S. has said that it will not let Iran obtain an atomic bomb.