Hezbollah: Hassan Nasrallah threatens more reprisals after Israel kills Lebanese civilians

Leader of powerful Lebanese armed group says the price will be paid in blood

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Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has warned of further reprisals against Israel after at least 10 civilians were killed in south Lebanon by Israeli strikes on Wednesday.

He said Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel’s Kiryat Shmona on Thursday were only “a first response” and that the price for spilling Lebanese blood would be in blood.

“The enemy will pay the price for the death of our women and children,” Mr Nasrallah said in a speech, his seventh since Hezbollah and Israel began a series of near-daily cross-border exchanges on October 8 when war erupted in Gaza.

He said that the “response to the massacre should be continuing resistance work at the front and escalating resistance work at the front”.

Seven civilians, including three children, were killed in a rare strike on the city of Nabatieh on Wednesday. Israeli forces said they had targeted and killed three Hezbollah fighters, including a commander from its elite Radwan force, but did not mention the civilian deaths.

An earlier strike on a border village killed a women and her two children.

“The enemy could have avoided killing civilians in southern Lebanon,” Mr Nasrallah said on Friday, describing the attacks as premeditated.

He said that Hezbollah would not be deterred by Israel killing its fighters or launching attacks on the group's stronghold in the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Israel assassinated Hamas deputy Saleh Al Arouri in January in Beirut, the most senior member of the Palestinian group to die since the organisation launched a deadly attack on southern Israel on October 7.

The Hezbollah secretary general was speaking remotely at an event to commemorate deceased Hezbollah fighters and leaders.

He also responded to comments by Israel's Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, who had claimed that his forces could bomb any part of Lebanon.

Mr Nasrallah said that Hezbollah could do the same to Israel, from Kiryat Shmona in the north to Eilat in the south.

The exchanges of fire between Hezbollah, a Lebanese armed group and political party, and Israel have been the most serious since the two sides fought a deadly month-long war in 2006. The clashes have led to the deaths of more than 200 Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon, plus a handful of men from allied armed groups, along with about 40 civilians. In Israel, six civilians and 10 soldiers have been killed.

Updated: April 08, 2024, 9:52 AM