Lebanon's Hezbollah can continue to enter Israel via tunnels, Nasrallah says

Published 26.01.2019 23:53

Iran-backed Hezbollah has "for years" been able to enter Israel, the Lebanese group's leader said Saturday, responding for the first time to Israel's discovery of tunnels dug into Israeli territory from Lebanon.

"Part of our plan in the next war is to enter into Galilee, a part of our plan we are capable of, God willing. The important thing is that we have this capability and we have had it for years," said Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in an interview with al-Mayadeen TV.

Israel said last month it had discovered Hezbollah "attack tunnels" and the U.N. Middle East envoy this week confirmed the existence of two of them, which he said constituted a breach of the 2006 truce existing between Israel and Lebanon.

Nasrallah indicated the tunnels had been dug long ago and it was "a surprise" that Israel took so long to locate them.

"One of the tunnels discovered goes back 13 years," he said, without discussing how old any other tunnels were.

U.N. Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, said both sides must stick to their side of the border and that the group must leave the area around the frontier.

Nasrallah said Hezbollah did not want to draw Lebanon into a war with Israel but added that there was a fear that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might miscalculate before the Israeli elections in April and do something rash.

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