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Hezbollah to hold fire with Israel if Gaza deal reached

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published July 10,2024

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said Wednesday that his group will hold fire with Israel if a cease-fire is reached in the Gaza Strip.

"Anyone who threatens us with an invasion…should look at what is happening in Rafah (in southern Gaza), where they have failed to achieve victory," Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

On Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz threatened war with Hezbollah if the group did not withdraw beyond the Litani River in southern Lebanon.

The river is several kilometers from the border and is stipulated in UN Security Council resolution 1701 which ended a war with Israel in 2006.

"Pushing Hezbollah eight or 10 kilometers away from the border as the (Israeli) occupation claims will not solve its problem," Nasrallah said.

The Hezbollah chief warned that if Israel decides to attack southern Lebanon after a cease-fire is reached in Gaza, "we will defend Lebanon and will not tolerate the occupation."

Nasrallah stressed that his group would cease fire "without discussion" if a potential agreement is reached in Gaza.

"Hamas represents the resistance axis in the negotiations, and whatever they accept, we all accept because they coordinate with the Palestinian factions," he added.

Fears have grown of a full-blown war between Israel and Hezbollah amid an exchange of cross-border attacks between the two sides.

The escalation comes against the backdrop of a deadly Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, which killed nearly 38,300 people since last October following a Hamas attack.