Photo Credit: Twitter screenshot
Nasrallah’s deputy Hussein Yazbek was assassinated in south Lebanon, January 3, 2024.

It appears that Israel is honing its message to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, to get his army behind the Litani River or else. On Wednesday night, 90 minutes after Nasrallah finished his speech that included references to the previous day’s assassination of Hamas bigwig Saleh al-Arouri in Dahieh, the Shiite neighborhood of Beirut and Hezbollah’s stronghold, an air strike destroyed a house in Naqoura on the Mediterranean shore in southern Lebanon, killing Nasrallah’s deputy Hussein Yazbek and three underlings.

Hezbollah acknowledged on Wednesday morning the killing of four of its members, including Yazbek, identifying the others as Ibrahim Afif, Hadi Ali Reda, and Hussein Ali Muhammad Ghazala.


The Saudi news outlet Al Arabiya reminded readers that “This came hours after a speech by Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, in which he said that ‘if Israel thinks of waging a war against Lebanon, our fighting will be without borders, controls, or rules,’ adding that ‘the killing of the deputy head of the political bureau of the Hamas movement Saleh Al-Arouri is a major and dangerous crime that cannot be tolerated, and will not remain without response and punishment.’”

Wednesday’s attack brings the death toll of Israeli raids on southern Lebanon to nine Hezbollah terrorists, in one of the bloodiest days for the organization since it began exchanging cross-border fire with Israel in October.

The death toll on the Israeli-Lebanese border since October 7 has been at least 170 on the Lebanese side, including 124 Hezbollah fighters, and at least 13 Israelis.

A prominent Lebanese security source told AFP that the bombing that killed Al-Arouri and his companions on Tuesday was carried out by guided missiles that were launched by an Israeli warplane.

Nasrallah noted in his Wednesday speech that “since the Iron Dome has failed, the strength of Israel is in its ability to retaliate – this is what it uses to threaten the region and to make countries give up their rights. The strength of Israel is its ability to terrorize. This ability started to weaken in 2000, more so after 2006, and more so now after Gaza, and after Lebanon, and after Yemen. Why has it fallen? Hamas was not scared – but the situation requires resistance. The resistance forces in Lebanon on October 8 were not scared and never were, and today we are more willing than ever to face the enemy. And Yemen was not scared. Yemen did not think of Israeli retaliation. Nor was Yemen scared of the US.”

“The most important result of the Al Aqsa Flood (Hamas’s name for its October 7 attack – DI) is the loss of confidence by the Israeli population, in the Israeli army, and Israeli intelligence. This touches on the essence of the Israeli entity’s ability to maintain itself. The Al Aqsa Flood is pushing Israel to its end. Its people have lost confidence because their relationship to the land is based on lies…”

Nasrallah then addressed “Minister of War Gallant,” misrepresenting his statement this week to be, “without achieving the Israeli declared objectives, we will be in a situation that the Israeli people won’t be willing live – not just on the border with Gaza if we don’t achieve those objectives, the people will not be willing to live on this land, because we no longer know how to protect them. We would lose the essence of what makes the State of Israel exist.”

Nasrallah continued: “And I say to them – you will not be able to achieve the objectives of the war. Here falls the idea of the ‘safe sanctuary for the Jews of the world.’ The essence of your safety in occupied Palestine following the Al Aqsa Flood and what is happening on all the fronts has been hit and will cause this ‘safe sanctuary’ to fall, and we have already seen the reverse immigration. Hundreds of thousands of Zionists have left already.”

He went like that for a while, essentially extending his 2006 “spider’s web” speech, that predicted a swift collapse of Israel given the badly managed war of that year.

For the sake of accuracy, here is what Defense Minister Yoav Gallant actually said earlier this week: “There’s a two-fold need to win the campaign. First, to exact a price and make sure that those who live near the Gaza Strip can go back. But the more important thing is, if you don’t end an event like this, involving about 1500 victims and hostages, with a clear decision, you can’t live in the Middle East, because tomorrow someone else will come. That’s why we are determined to achieve the goal.”

“The results will be clear,” Gallant vowed. “We end this campaign when Hamas no longer functions as a governing body and certainly not as a military framework that sends out troops and continues to strengthen them. It will take the necessary time, and, unfortunately, there are other threats, the first and foremost of which is what’s happening in the north, and on that issue, we’ll begin a process of preparation while we are constantly with an eye on the binoculars and a finger on the trigger.”

This means you, Sheikh Nasrallah.


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