No end to fighting on Lebanon front before Gaza ceasefire, says Hezbollah chief

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has vowed to press on with confrontations with Israeli forces on the Lebanon border until the end of the Israeli offensive in Gaza. 

Nasrallah delivered a televised address to mark a week since the death of a top Hezbollah commander in an Israeli attack in southern Lebanon. He said, “only a ceasefire in Gaza” would open the possibility of an end to the crossfire on the Lebanon-Israel border. “We’ll see what happens after that,” he added. 

The Iran-backed leader also lambasted Washington for US and UK strikes in Yemen this week aimed at halting the Houthi rebels' attacks on a major commercial shipping route in the Red Sea. Nasrallah, who is a major ally of the Houthis, said the strikes would turn the Red Sea “into a battlefield.” 

Commenting on recent threats from Israel’s war cabinet to expand the war to Lebanon, Nasrallah struck a defiant tone.

“It is the Israelis who should be afraid of war … we will not stand by idly as Israel strikes Lebanon,” the Hezbollah leader said, adding that the powerful paramilitary group does not fear conflict.

Some context: Fear is growing that the tit-for-tat strikes exchanged between Israel and Hezbollah forces since the latest Israeli war with Hamas could spiral further, widening the conflict in the Middle East.

Nasrallah's speech followed fresh violence on Israel's border with Lebanon this weekend, with two Israelis killed when an anti-tank missile was fired from Lebanon.

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