Hezbollah Says It's Trying to 'Weaken the Israeli Enemy'

Security official says Israeli government faces pressure from residents in the north to attack
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2023 5:45 PM CDT
Hezbollah Says It's Trying to 'Weaken the Israeli Enemy'
Smoke rises from inside an Israeli army position hit by Hezbollah fighters as seen from Tair Harfa village, a Lebanese border village with Israel, south Lebanon, on Friday.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

A Hezbollah leader said Saturday that the militant group already is "in the heart of the battle" against Israel, which is being pressed by the US and other nations not to attack the Lebanon-based militia for fear of widening its war with Hamas. Hezbollah said six of its fighters were killed Saturday along the border with Israel, Reuters reports. It also reported carrying out a series of attacks on Israeli army posts and personnel in border areas throughout the day. The violence along the border has intensified since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7 and now rates as the most serious since 2006.

"We are trying to weaken the Israeli enemy and let them know that we are ready," said the Hezbollah official, Sheikh Naim Kassem, per the AP. Hamas has warned that if Israel invades Gaza, Hezbollah will join in the fighting. Both militias are backed by Iran. The Israeli government is facing internal pressure to stage a preemptive strike on Hezbollah, per the Guardian, especially from Israelis living near Lebanon. Just two weeks removed from the cross-border Hamas attack, a senior security official described the argument. "People are saying, we cannot live on the northern border, with Hezbollah less than 100 meters from us and that can cross the line in a few minutes and slaughter us." (Humanitarian aid slowly arrives in Gaza.)

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