10:52 GMT +319 December 2018
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    Hezbollah fighter stands at a watchtower (File)

    Hezbollah Deputy Chief Vows to Defend Lebanon From Israel

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Deputy Chief of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah Shia group Sheikh Naim Qassem vowed that the organization would protect Lebanon from any attempts by Israel to seize the country’s territory, Al-Manar broadcaster informs.

    "We don’t accept that our land or our territorial water be lessened," Deputy Chief of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah Shia group Sheikh Naim Qassem said on Wednesday, as quoted by the Al-Manar broadcaster, adding that Hezbollah was ready to resist any possible Israeli aggression.

    Earlier this month, a Hezbollah official threatened to open a new front against Israel if the latter continues to target Syria and the Gaza Strip. The statement was made after a clash between Israeli and Iranian forces in Syria, which resulted in the alleged downing of an Iranian drone and an Israeli aircraft. On Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the possible military conflict between Israel and Hezbollah was his "worst nightmare."

    Hezbollah is a Lebanon-based Shia movement founded in 1980s and engaged in several military conflicts with Israel. The group is also supporting incumbent Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is a representative of the Alawites, a Syrian Shia minority.

    READ MORE: Iran Vows to ‘Level Tel Aviv' if Israel Attacks Iranian Targets

    As Israel tried to warn off foreign companies from accepting a Lebanese tender on a natural gas deposit located in the area of the Mediterranean Sea claimed by both Lebanon and Israel, it received a pointed retort from Hezbollah.

    In 2006 Israeli armed forces invaded Lebanon in counter-move for a cross-border raid by Hezbollah which resulted in several Israeli soldiers being killed and two being abducted. The following conflict lasted 34 days and ended with a UN-brokered ceasefire, only after claiming the lives of about 1,200 Lebanese and some 160 Israelis.

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    Tags:
    military conflict, Hezbollah, UN, Antonio Guterres, Lebanon, Israel, Syria
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