Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah, delivered a lengthy broadcast speech on Friday in which he offered a severe warning, saying that “Americans have to pay” for the US’s continued involvement in the Gaza crisis. Nasrallah underlined that the United States bears some of the blame for the state of affairs and charged that the Israeli government is merely an American pawn.
Nasrallah did not hold back in his criticism of the United States, saying, “Let me be clear, the United States is just as responsible,” during his speech. He said that Americans “have to pay for Israel’s slaughter,” explicitly addressing them.
Nasrallah went one step farther and spread falsehoods, claiming that Israeli military action, not Hamas, was to blame for the deaths of civilians in neighborhoods along the Gaza border. Nasrallah attributed the killings to Israeli troops, claiming they were “acting insane” and that they were taken by surprise and drunk, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Regarding Israel, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant informed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Israel would not consent to a Gaza cease-fire in the absence of the release of hostages. With Israel associating the cessation of hostilities with the release of hostages, this complicates the already difficult diplomatic efforts even more.
In his capacity as Hezbollah’s leader, Nasrallah also made threats to escalate the fight with Israel. He made it clear that Hezbollah would decide what to do next depending on how events in Gaza developed. In case the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched an attack on Lebanon, Nasrallah issued a dire warning, saying that they would “pay dearly,” leaving “nothing off the table.”
In addition, Nasrallah referred to the conflict in Gaza as a “holy war.” He applauded those who were opposing Israel, highlighting in particular the “strong and brave Iraqi and Yemeni hands” who were engaged in what he considered to be an honorable and morally righteous conflict.
Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, has intensified his rhetoric over the Israel-Hamas war by blaming Israel directly and making aggressive statements about its actions. The situation is still extremely tense; Hezbollah is threatening to escalate the confrontation and refers to it as a “holy war.” The realities on the ground are constantly changing as the international community strives for a settlement, which makes the already difficult diplomatic environment much more complex.