“Be careful about your words, and even more cautious about your actions” Netanyahu warned.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that he would “suggest” to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, as well as the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force Qassem Soleimani, “to calm down.”
The Israeli leader was firing back verbally at a declaration by Nasrallah warning of revenge for what the terror group said was an Israeli “suicide drone attack on a target in Beirut’s southern suburb” where Hezbollah has its stronghold.
“I want to say to him and the Lebanese state which is hosting this organization that aims to destroy us,” declared Netanyahu, “and I say the same to Qassem Soleimani: Be careful about your words, and even more cautious about your actions.”
The Hezbollah chief had warned Israel that his terror organization was “preparing an imminent response to the crash of two Israeli drones in a Beirut suburb,” reported an official Lebanese news agency, National News Agency (NNA).
“He [Nasrallah] knows well that Israel knows how to defend itself and to pay back its enemies,” Netanyahu countered on Tuesday.
Amid the war of words, a spokesperson for UNIFIL, a peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, told NNA that “the situation in the region is calm,” indicating that the force was working “to guarantee the non-occurrence or misunderstanding of any incident that could jeopardize the cessation of hostilities.”
“We will do everything to prevent” such attacks, Nasrallah said in a speech, according to media reports. “The time when Israeli aircraft come and bombard parts of Lebanon is over,” he vowed.
Hezbollah and Iran are closely aligned. Even though Hezbollah is widely classified in the West as a terror organization, it is a member of the Lebanese government.
In 2006, Israel and Hezbollah waged war for over a month, during which Israeli localities in the north were bombarded with rocket fire.
The Israeli-Lebanese border has been mostly calm since then, but Iran has taken advantage of the war within neighboring Syria to gain influence there, as well.
Netanyahu has vowed to fight against Iranian entrenchment. Tehran has repeatedly vowed to destroy Israel.