Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday noted that “what happened in the past two days was out of Hizbullah and AMAL’s control,” warning that his group would make lives of Israelis "a living hell" if Lebanon is attacked.
“It’s untrue that Hassan al-Meqdad is a Hizbullah member,” Nasrallah said of a Lebanese man abducted near Damascus on Tuesday by a Syrian armed group which claimed that he is a Hizbullah sniper.
Al-Meqdad clan, which has also denied the claims, said Wednesday that its “military wing” kidnapped more than 20 Syrians and a Turkish national to try to secure Hassan’s release.
On Wednesday, dozens of Syrians were kidnapped and Syrian-owned shops vandalized in Beirut’s southern suburbs after unconfirmed reports that several Lebanese taken hostage in Syria had been killed in an airstrike on the Aleppo town of Aazaz.
Addressing the issue of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims who were abducted in Aazaz on May 22, Nasrallah said: “Ever since the failure of their release, Hizbullah maintained silence over this issue for the sake of the captives because we feared the exploitation of our statements.”
“We do not know who kidnapped them. We remained silent hoping that the government will exert sufficient efforts to ensure their release,” Hizbullah’s leader added in a televised speech marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day.
Nasrallah lambasted the Lebanese media for playing a “tragic role” in covering the events of the past two days. Some media outlets said four Lebanese hostages were killed in Aazaz while others said all of the 11 pilgrims died in the airstrike.
Lebanese television networks have also been criticized for their extensive coverage of the abductions and the public threats voiced by al-Meqdad clan and several angry protesters.
“What happened in the past two days was out of Hizbullah and AMAL’s control,” stressed Nasrallah, warning that “the situation is spiraling out of control due to the media and political chaos.”
“We tried to deter the protesters from blocking the airport road to no avail,” he noted.
“The issue of the abductees has become a humanitarian tragedy, a media charade and the source of major political blackmailing,” Nasrallah added.
Turning to the issue of the conflict with Israel, Nasrallah warned that his Iranian-backed group would make lives of Israelis "a living hell" if it is attacked.
"There are targets in occupied Palestine (Israel) which could be targeted by a small number of missiles," Nasrallah said.
"If we are forced to use them to protect our people and our country, we will not hesitate to do so... and that will turn the lives of hundreds of thousands of Zionists into a living hell," he added.
Nasrallah warned of "tens of thousands of deaths, and not just 300 to 500 dead," adding that Hizbullah had chosen its targets.
In case of any Israeli attack on Iran over its controversial nuclear program, "the response will be enormous," he warned. Any such action would present the Islamic republic with "the opportunity is has been dreaming of" since it was founded in 1979.
Last month, an Israeli general warned that Hizbullah would pay dearly if it fired rockets at the Jewish state.
"If we get to another war, Israel will hit Hizbullah decisively, quickly, as fast as we can in order to stop the fire from Lebanon to Israel," commander of Israel's northern division, Brigadier General Herzi Halevi, said at a briefing.
He also said that towns in southern Lebanon used as launching bases for Hizbullah rocket attacks would be "destroyed."
Last month, Israel accused Iran and Hizbullah of planning attacks in "over 20 countries" in remarks just days after a deadly attack in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and their local bus driver.
Iran denied the charges but Hizbullah refused to comment.
Hizbullah follows the example of Tehran in marking Quds Day, a show of support for the Palestinians over the disputed holy city of Jerusalem.
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