Nasrallah: Israel Strikes in Syria Could Prompt Strike on Tel Aviv

BEIRUT (Reuters) -
IDF soldiers standing near a tunnel that crosses from Lebanon into Israel, near Metulla, in December. (Flash90)

The “axis of resistance” of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah could respond to Israeli strikes on Iran and Hezbollah in Syria with their own attack on Tel Aviv, Hezbollah’s leader said on Saturday.

They were deliberating a response to escalating Israeli strikes and could change their approach “at any moment,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview with al-Mayadeen channel.

Nasrallah also said that Hezbollah has “for years” been able to enter Israel, 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 the Galilee, a part of our plan we are capable of. The important thing is that we have this capability and we have had it for years,” Nasrallah said in the interview.

Israel said last month it had discovered Hezbollah terror 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 of the 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 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu might miscalculate before the Israeli elections in April and do something rash.