Hezbollah chief Nasrallah lashes back at Israel 'stone age' war threats

Hezbollah chief Nasrallah lashes back at Israel 'stone age' war threats
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Israel too will be 'returned to the stone age' if it goes to war with Lebanon.
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Hassan Nasrallah (screen) is the secretary-general of Lebanon's powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah movement [ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty-archive]

The leader of Lebanon's powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah movement said on Monday his group could send Israel "back to the stone age", in tit-for-tat threats following similar Israeli remarks as tensions brew.

While in the occupied Shebaa Farms, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant had threatened to return Lebanon "to the stone age" should Hezbollah escalate tensions in the border area with the Golan Heights, Syrian territory also occupied by Israel.

In a televised speech on Monday to mark the anniversary of the latest war in 2006 between Israel and the Lebanese armed group, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said: "You too will be returned to the stone age… if you go to war with Lebanon."

The comments come amid increased tensions along the border area between Israeli-controlled territories and Lebanon.

South Lebanon, near the frontier, is a Hezbollah stronghold and the site of sporadic incidents and skirmishes.

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The Shebaa Farms is Arab territory occupied by Israel that belongs either to Lebanon or Syria. It is claimed by Beirut and the area is of viewed with great importance by Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is the only Lebanese faction that kept its weapons after the end of the 1975–1990 civil war. It is considered a "terrorist" organisation by many Western governments.

Nasrallah said it would take "a few high-precision missiles" for his group to destroy targets including "civilian and military airports, airbases, power stations… and the Dimona [nuclear] power station".

If a future conflict "draws in the resistance axis… there will be no such thing called Israel anymore," he said, referring to Hezbollah's regional allies including some Palestinian factions and other Iran-backed groups.

Nasrallah also urged calm days after a Hezbollah ammunition truck overturned in a town near Beirut, triggering deadly clashes between Christian residents and members of the Shia Muslim group.

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One resident of Kahale and one Hezbollah member were killed by gunfire.

Nasrallah blamed unnamed politicians for stoking intercommunal tensions and "driving the country towards civil war".

"Today my call is a call for reason," he said addressing Lebanon's Christian community.

"The interest of Lebanon, the Lebanese people and the resistance is for calm to prevail in Lebanon."

The Lebanese army said it had seized the munitions from the truck after the incident in Kahale, a town in the mountains east of the Lebanese capital, on the road linking it to the Bekaa Valley bordering Syria.