Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned on Wednesday that “no place” in Israel would be spared by his movement's missiles in the event of an attack on Lebanon, amid fears of a war-related conflagration in the Gaza strip.

In a televised speech broadcast live, he also threatened for the first time Cyprus, the European Union member country closest to the coasts of the Middle East, saying “it has information according to which (…) Israel says that “he would use Cypriot airports and bases if Hezbollah attacked its airports.”

“Opening Cypriot airports and bases to the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon would mean that the Cypriot government is party to the war,” warned Hassan Nasrallah. Cyprus is located some 300 km from Israel and around 200 km from Lebanon, and maintains good relations with both countries.

“I have read the comments (by the leader of Hezbollah, editor’s note) and I would like to say that the Republic of Cyprus is not involved in any way in this war,” Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides retorted in a statement.

Cyprus is “part of the solution, not the problem”, he insisted, arguing that his country played a role, “recognized by the Arab world and the entire international community” in the deployment of a maritime corridor allowing the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The war in Gaza has led to violence on the Israeli-Lebanese border, between Hezbollah, an ally of the Palestinian Islamist movement, and the Israeli army, which has intensified in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, the Israeli army announced that “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon” had been “validated” and the head of diplomacy Israel Katz affirmed that “in a total war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be hit hard.”

“The (Israeli) enemy knows perfectly well that we have prepared for the worst (..) He knows that no place (..) will be spared by our missiles” in the event of an attack on Lebanon, launched Mr. Nasrallah, whose movement armed and financed by Iran exercises a preponderant influence in Lebanon.

In the event of war, Israel should “wait for us by land, by sea and by air”, said the leader of Hezbollah, a movement considered terrorist by the United States and the United Kingdom.

– “Larger capacities” –
On Wednesday, Hezbollah said it fired “dozens of Katyusha rockets and shells” towards a barracks in northern Israel, near the Lebanese border, in retaliation for Israeli strikes against targets in the south. of Lebanon having killed four of its fighters.

“We have received new weapons (..) and we are keeping others for the coming days,” continued Hassan Nasrallah, affirming that his formation had more than 100,000 men ready for combat.

During a visit to northern Israel, Israeli army chief Herzi Halevi said the country had “infinitely greater capabilities” than Hezbollah. “The enemy only knows a few and he will confront them at the right time.”

An emissary of American President Joe Biden, Amos Hochstein, who has just visited Lebanon and Israel in recent days, deemed de-escalation at the border “urgent”.

He defended the ceasefire plan in the Gaza Strip presented on May 31 by Joe Biden, affirming that it also represented “an opportunity to end the conflict” between Hezbollah and Israel.

– Bombings and fighting in Gaza –
In the Gaza Strip, besieged and devastated by more than eight months of war, Israeli bombings continued, mainly in Rafah (south).

Several Israeli military vehicles entered a neighborhood in the west of the city, supported by drone and tank fire, according to witnesses. Fighting took place between soldiers and Palestinian fighters.

Seven people were killed, according to rescuers, by strikes on tents at the gates of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have taken refuge.

In the north, a strike killed three Palestinians near the Nousseirat camp (center), according to Civil Defense.

On October 7, Hamas commandos carried out an attack in southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data. That day, 251 people were kidnapped, and 116 are still held hostage in Gaza, of whom 41 died, according to the army.

In response, the Israeli army launched a major offensive on Gaza, which has so far left 37,396 dead, mainly civilians, according to data from the Health Ministry of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

The war has also caused a humanitarian catastrophe in the territory threatened by famine according to the UN and where international aid is arriving in insufficient quantities.

The UN said a daily “humanitarian” pause announced by Israel in its operations from morning to evening in an area of ​​Gaza had not yet led to an increase in aid for the Palestinian territory.

Doctors say ten people were killed after an Israeli strike hit a group of Palestinians waiting for aid trucks to arrive near Rafah.

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