04:58 GMT +323 November 2019
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    Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters during a rare public appearance at an Ashoura ceremony in Beirut's southern suburbs November 3, 2014

    Israeli Army Trolls Hezbollah Leader by 'Celebrating' His Birthday in Twitter Video

    © REUTERS / Khalil Hassan
    Middle East
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    The armed confrontation that took place between Lebanon-based Hezbollah and the Israeli Army on Sunday did not lead to any casualties, but the group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, later stated that the conflict proved that there were no more “red lines” against Israel.

    The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) mocked the leader of the Lebanese group Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, on Twitter by posting a short animated video allegedly reassuring the secretary general that his birthday on 31 August was not forgotten.

    ​The video, published on the IDF’s official Twitter account on 3 September, imitates an animated WhatsApp messenger conversation where a hypothetical user, allegedly Nasrallah, chooses a select number of friends from his contacts, including Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, to create a group chat with a title “You forgot My birthday”.

    The video then features an imagined conversation where Soleimani apologises for being “a little busy this weekend” to congratulate Hezbollah’s leader, but asserts that “Iran’s presents are on the way”.

    The animated user depicting Bashar al-Assad then adds “Happy Birthday, Bunker Boy!” apparently referring to Israeli PM Netanyahu’s Monday remarks about Hezbollah’s leader as the “man in the bunker in Beirut”.

    “It’s a whole week of celebrations”, says a message from the mock Soleimani, adding that “unfortunately some of your gifts didn’t make it all the way to you in Lebanon”, which could have been a reference to the IDF destroying an arms shipment from Iran.

    The video was compiled in the wake of Sunday's violence between Israel and Hezbollah, where the group fired multiple anti-tank missiles against IDF locations along the Israeli-Lebanese border, with Tel Aviv responding by firing over 100 artillery shells and carrying out at least one airstrike in southern Lebanon. Although no casualties were reported from either of the sides, this was the most violent armed incident between the two since 2006.

    The subsequent mock “conversation” between the leaders also features Nasrallah asking his purported buddies for birthday presents such as Type 36 rocket launchers and long-range missiles, stating that precision-guided missiles would be the gift he wanted “the most”.

    The video ends with two messages, now coming from the IDF itself, with one being that “Iran needs to stop arming Hezbollah in Lebanon” and the other saying that “the people of Lebanon deserve a gift, freedom from Hezbollah”.

    Reactions to the troll video have not been unequivocal, with some users praising the IDF’s “next level” diplomacy skills, while others suggested that the army’s account is probably being run by a kid.

    On 2 September, the Hezbollah chief said in a televised speech that there were no more “red lines” against Israel, as one of the anti-tank missiles fired by the paramilitary organisation against the Jewish state apparently crossed the country’s border instead of hitting a territory disputed by Beirut and Tel Aviv.

    The exchanges of fire on Sunday came after tensions between Lebanon and Israel escalated on 25 August, when Lebanese authorities reported that Israeli drones had violated the country’s airspace, with one of the strikes reportedly hitting Hezbollah's media office near Beirut. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has been a longstanding opponent of Iran’s alleged support for Hezbollah, which he considers a “terrorist organisation”.  

    Qasem Soleimani, Bashar Assad, Iran, Syria, Twitter, IDF, Hassan Nasrallah, Lebanon, Hezbollah, Israel
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