Netanyahu warns Hezbollah, Lebanon to 'be careful'

Netanyahu warns Hezbollah, Lebanon to 'be careful'
2 min read
27 August, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah group that Israel 'knows how to defend itself and how to pay back its enemies'.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Hezbollah's chief to 'be careful' [NurPhoto/Getty]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday warned Lebanon, Hezbollah's chief and the head of Iran's elite Quds Force to "be careful" with their words and actions.

Addressing Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Netanyahu told a conference that "he knows very well that the state of Israel knows how to defend itself well, and to repay its enemies".

"I want to say to him and the Lebanese state, which is hosting this organisation that aims to destroy us, and I say the same to Qassem Soleimani: Be careful about your words, and even more cautious about your actions."

He suggested that Nasrallah "calm down".

Netanyahu spoke after a series of incidents in recent days that have raised tensions between Israel, Lebanon, Iran and Tehran-backed Hezbollah.

Nasrallah has accused Israel of being behind a drone attack on the Lebanese Shia movement's Beirut stronghold on Sunday and threatened retaliation.

He called it the first such "hostile action" since a 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun called it a "declaration of war".

The Lebanese Hezbollah movement on Tuesday said the drone that crashed in Beirut contained an explosive device weighing more than five kilogrammes (11 pounds).

Hours before the Beirut incident, Israel announced it had carried out a strike in neighbouring Syria to thwart what it said was a plan by an Iranian force to attack its territory with drones.

On Monday, a pro-Syrian regime Palestinian group accused Israel of carrying out a drone attack on one of its positions in Lebanon.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria targeting what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

Comment: The dangerous new landscape of Arab-Israeli warfare

Iran and Hezbollah, along with Russia, have backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country's civil war.

Netanyahu has pledged to stop Israel's arch-enemy Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria.

He is also gearing up for 17 September parliamentary polls after failing to form a coalition following an April general election.

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