Head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah Threatens Israel, Cyprus in Televised Address

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah delivers a speech via a screen at a memorial ceremony for senior Field Commander, Taleb Sami Abdallah, known within Hezbollah as Hajj Abu Taleb who was killed on 11 June, in a suburb outside Beirut, in Beirut, Lebanon, 19 June 2024. (EPA)
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah delivers a speech via a screen at a memorial ceremony for senior Field Commander, Taleb Sami Abdallah, known within Hezbollah as Hajj Abu Taleb who was killed on 11 June, in a suburb outside Beirut, in Beirut, Lebanon, 19 June 2024. (EPA)
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Head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah Threatens Israel, Cyprus in Televised Address

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah delivers a speech via a screen at a memorial ceremony for senior Field Commander, Taleb Sami Abdallah, known within Hezbollah as Hajj Abu Taleb who was killed on 11 June, in a suburb outside Beirut, in Beirut, Lebanon, 19 June 2024. (EPA)
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah delivers a speech via a screen at a memorial ceremony for senior Field Commander, Taleb Sami Abdallah, known within Hezbollah as Hajj Abu Taleb who was killed on 11 June, in a suburb outside Beirut, in Beirut, Lebanon, 19 June 2024. (EPA)

The head of Lebanon's Hezbollah said on Wednesday that nowhere in Israel would be safe if a full-fledged war breaks out between the two foes, and he also threatened Cyprus and other parts of the Mediterranean.

Hezbollah has been trading fire with Israel for more than eight months in parallel with the Gaza war. On Tuesday, the Iran-backed group published what it said was drone footage of sensitive military sites deep in Israeli territory.

In a televised address on Wednesday, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said "there will be no place safe from our missiles and our drones" in Israel in the event of a broader war.

The group also had "a bank of targets" that it could target in precision strikes, he said.

Israel "knows that what also awaits it in the Mediterranean is very big...In the face of a battle of this magnitude, it knows that it must now wait for us on land, in the air, and at sea," Nasrallah added.

The group first showed it could hit a vessel at sea by striking an Israeli warship in the Mediterranean during their 2006 war.

Reports by media and analysts have for years indicated that Hezbollah acquired Russian-made anti-ship Yakhont missiles in Syria, after its forces deployed there more than a decade ago to help President Bashar al-Assad fight the country's civil war.

Nasrallah also threatened Cyprus for the first time, accusing it of allowing Israel to use its airports and bases for military exercises.

"The Cypriot government must be warned that opening Cypriot airports and bases for the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon means that the Cypriot government has become part of the war and the resistance (Hezbollah) will deal with it as part of the war," Nasrallah said.

There was no immediate comment from authorities in Cyprus.

Cyprus is not known to offer any land or base facilities to the Israeli military, but has in the past allowed Israel to use its vast airspace - its flight information region (FIR) - to occasionally conduct air drills, but never during conflict.

Sovereign British military bases have been used by the United Kingdom for operations in Syria and more recently, Yemen. The Cyprus government has no say in the matter. There are two British bases in Cyprus, which was a colony until 1960.

Nasrallah said his group would fight with "no rules" and "no ceilings" in the event of a broader war. He was speaking at a memorial event for a commander killed in an Israeli strike last week - the most senior Hezbollah figure to be killed so far in the current conflict with Israel.

Hezbollah unleashed its largest volleys of drones and rockets at Israel in retaliation. UN officials expressed concern at the escalation, and US envoy Amos Hochstein traveled to Israel and Lebanon to urge both sides not to move into a full-scale conflict.



Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
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Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)

The Middle East was reeling Sunday from deadly violence with Israel bombing Gaza, Lebanon and Yemen in quick succession in response to attacks from Iran-backed militant groups.
Despite Washington's top diplomat asserting a deal is near the "goal line" to end more than nine months of devastating war between Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas, the Israeli military said it intercepted a missile fired from Yemen, as it pressed on with its offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory, Agence France Presse reported.
Dozens have been killed since Saturday across the Gaza Strip, the civil defense agency said, including in strikes on homes in the central Nuseirat and Bureij areas and displaced people near southern Khan Yunis.
Residents said a major operation was underway in the district of Rafah in the south, reporting heavy artillery and clashes.
The deadly strikes in Gaza came hours after Hezbollah and its ally Hamas said they fired at Israeli positions from south Lebanon, while Yemen's Houthi group vowed to respond to Israeli warplanes hitting a key port.
The fire left raging by the strikes on Hodeida port "is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear," Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.
Detailing the first strikes claimed by Israel in Yemen, Gallant warned of further operations if the Houthis "dare to attack us" after a Houthi drone strike killed one in Tel Aviv on Friday.
In Hodeida three people were killed and 87 wounded, health officials said in a statement carried by Houthi media.
Netanyahu travels to Washington
The trio of militant groups has vowed to keep up attacks on Israel until a truce ends the violence in Gaza, which lies in ruins, with most residents forced to flee their homes.
The Gaza war was triggered by Hamas's October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.
The militants also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom are still in Gaza, including 42 the Israeli military says are dead.
Israel's military retaliation to wipe out Hamas has killed at least 38,919 people, also mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
The war has also unleashed hunger and health crises in Gaza, with Israel and the United Nations trading blame for vital aid supplies failing to reach those in need.
After the detection of poliovirus in Gaza sewage, though no individual cases, the World Health Organization said there were "monumental" constraints to mounting a timely response.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said Friday the agency believes many more diseases are "spreading out of control" inside Gaza.
The premier is due to address US lawmakers Wednesday in Washington, where he will be under pressure to reach a ceasefire with Hamas.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday a truce was within reach.
"I believe we're... driving toward the goal line in getting an agreement that would produce a ceasefire, get the hostages home, and put us on a better track to trying to build lasting peace and stability," he said.