Israel will be the ‘ultimate loser’ in war with Hezbollah, Iran says | Israel-Palestine conflict News by StuffsEarth

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Israel says it will soon ‘make the necessary decisions’ about confronting the Iran-allied Lebanese group.

Iran says Hezbollah is capable of defending itself and Lebanon, warning Israel that it would be the “ultimate loser” in an all-out war with the Lebanese armed group.

Tehran’s statement on Friday came as fears of a major Israeli offensive in Lebanon continued to mount.

“Any imprudent decision by the occupying Israeli regime to save itself could plunge the region into a new war, the consequence of which would be the destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure as well as that of the 1948 occupied territories,” Iran’s mission to the United Nations said in a social media post.

“Undoubtedly, this war will have one ultimate loser, which is the Zionist regime. The Lebanese Resistance Movement, Hezbollah, has the capability to defend itself and Lebanon – perhaps the time for the self-annihilation of this illegitimate regime has come.”

Israel also issued a threat to Iran-aligned Hezbollah on Friday with Foreign Minister Israel Katz saying “soon we will make the necessary decisions” about confronting the Lebanese group.

“The free world must unconditionally stand with Israel in its war against the axis of evil led by Iran and extremist Islam. Our war is also your war,” Katz said.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said this week that if the Israeli military goes to war in Lebanon, his group will use its rockets and drones to hit targets across the entire territory of Israel. He warned Hezbollah would wage a war with “no restraint and no rules and no ceilings”.

Nasrallah also issued a threat to Cyprus, a European Union member that sits in the eastern Mediterranean west of the Lebanese and Israeli coasts. He said the group has information that Israel is conducting military exercises in Cyprus in terrain similar to southern Lebanon.

Nasrallah added that Israel plans to use airports and bases in Cyprus for military purposes if its own infrastructure is targeted during a serious war.

“Opening Cypriot airports and bases for the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon means the Cypriot government has become part of the war, and the resistance will deal with it as part of the war,” he said without elaborating.

Cyprus said Nasrallah’s threat is not grounded in reality, stressing the country enjoys great relations with Lebanon.

Still, the Hezbollah statement exacerbated concerns about an even larger regional war that could spill beyond Lebanon’s borders and pull Iran-allied groups – if not Tehran itself – as well as the United States into the conflict.

Hezbollah started attacking military bases in northern Israel the day after the outbreak of the war on Gaza on October 7 in what it says is a “support front” to back Palestinian groups. Israel responded by bombing southern Lebanese villages and Hezbollah positions.

While the near-daily clashes have displaced tens of thousands of people in Lebanon and Israel, they have been largely contained to the border areas.

But the violence has escalated in recent weeks, especially after an Israeli air raid killed a top Hezbollah commander in southern Lebanon last week.

On Friday, Hezbollah claimed several military operations against Israel, including a drone attack it said targeted Israeli forces at a coastal base on the western side of the border.

The US has pushed for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis while expressing concern about Hezbollah’s attacks. “We have made quite clear we do not want to see escalation of this conflict,” Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters on Thursday.

For its part, Hezbollah has said it will continue operations against the Israeli military until Israel ends its war in Gaza, which has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians.

Members of Hezbollah attend the funeral of a senior field commander [File: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters]

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