BEIRUT: Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Thursday that an Israeli war on Lebanon was unlikely in 2017, threatening to hit strategic Israeli targets should conflict erupt.
Hezbollah's deterrence capabilities are stopping Israel from launching a third Lebanon war, rather than political or diplomatic pressure, Nasrallah continued.
However, Hezbollah is preparing for the worst, promising military surprises should Israel attack Lebanon.
“Israel owns nuclear arms... with our might we can turn [their] threats into an opportunity,” he continued, advising Israel to dismantle the Dimona “nuclear plant” in the Negev.
Hezbollah is Israel’s “primary enemy, followed by Iran, and the Palestinian resistance third,” Nasrallah said, referring to Israeli think-tanks.
Nasrallah said Israel has repeatedly threatened to crush the party since the July 2006 war, but has refrained from taking action.
“I call on Lebanese...and all those living in Lebanon to relax. It is doubtful that there will be war. At the same time, the resistance must prepare for the worst,” he said.
Some people believe that with US President Donald Trump in the White House, the Israelis might be emboldened to attack Lebanon, Nasrallah said.
For Israel, political conditions allowing a war over Lebanon have always been there, “but the main question for them is, will they win the war? The main issue is, what is the price that they are willing to pay,” he asked.
The July 2006 war has made Israelis skeptical about any decisive win, Nasrallah noted.
All of Israel’s rhetoric about possible war on Lebanon is part of a “psychological war.”
Nasrallah was speaking via video link, during a memorial to mark the assassination of three top Hezbollah commanders.
Wednesday’s meeting between Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump, in which the US president dropped his country’s commitment to the two-state Mideast deal, signaled the end to peaceful negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, Nasrallah said.
“From agony, generations of faithful resistance fighters are born, and will gain decisive victory,” Nasrallah said, addressing Palestinians.
Nasrallah accused Arab governments of pretending to support the Palestinian cause.
“Where is the Arabs’ position and their response to the aggressions of the Zionist enemy,” he asked.
“I assure the Palestinian people that the world will not remain as it is, nor will the region...We are witnessing the final chapters of the elimination of the Palestinian cause,” Nasrallah continued as he accused Arab states of normalizing ties with Israel.
“The resistance will liberate the holy sites,” Nasrallah said.
Nasrallah also resumed his tirade against Saudi Arabia accusing the Gulf kingdom of supporting Daesh (ISIS), however, he did not elaborate on the allegations.
“Saudi Arabia that created Daesh is the one responsible for hundreds of thousands of martyrs killed in Iraq, Syria and Sinai and other places,” Nasrallah continued as he expected Daesh’s defeat.
“Just like we gained victory in 2000 and in the July  war, we are now approaching victory over the American-Saudi-Israeli project called Daesh,” Nasrallah added.
The deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Yemen are the result of an “Israeli-Saudi” alliance, Nasrallah continued.
“Every day, there are Yemenis and Saudis who are killed, and thousands of children are starved,” Nasrallah said. “Most Yemenis are still sacrificing and resisting the aggressions.”
The Hezbollah chief also said that the crisis in Bahrain to continue as long as the government fails to respond to its citizens’ demands.
“Whoever bets that the people of Bahrain will be exhausted...must know that the solution is to listen to their demands.”