JERUSALEM, Israel – Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed on Sunday to kill an Israeli soldier in retaliation for Israel slaying one of the terror group’s members during airstrikes in Syrian several weeks ago.
"Let the Israelis understand, when you kill one of our Mujahedeen (holy warriors) we will kill one of your soldiers, this is the equation,” said during televised remarks.
Tensions between Hezbollah and Israel have been heightened ever since the Israeli military reportedly killed Hezbollah commander Ali Kamel Mohsen in an airstrike near the Damascus airport on July 20. Israel does not comment on its activity in Syria but Israeli leaders have admitted to offensively working to keep the Iranian-backed terror group from entrenching itself in Syria.
The Israeli military has said it thwarted at least three infiltration attempts into Israel. Last week, Israel carried out direct airstrikes on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon for the first time since 2006 after shots were fired at Israeli soldiers from the neighboring country.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah is under increased scrutiny within its country and from the international community following an explosion in the Beirut port last month that killed 190 people and injured more than 6,000.
Many are criticizing the group for its large role in Lebanese politics, while others speculate that the group contributed to the blast by storing explosives in the port. Hezbollah denies these allegations.
Lebanese protesters paraded cardboard effigies of Nasrallah and other politicians hanging on nooses at a rally after the blast.
Nasrallah said Hezbollah supports the formation of a new Lebanese government that is “capable” of producing economic and financial reforms.
Lebanon was a country in crisis before the explosion and the tragedy has only exasperated desperate conditions. Huge silos that held the country’s largest grain storage were hollowed out by the blast.
"More than half of the country's population is at risk of failing to access their basic food needs by the year's end," the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) said on Sunday.
"Immediate measures should be taken to prevent a food crisis," ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti said.
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