Hezbollah threatens to attack Cyprus if it allows Israel to use its bases in the event of a war

"The enemy knows well that we have prepared for the worst," said Lebanese militia leader Hasan Nasrallah, amid growing tensions between Hezbollah and Israel 
Hassan Nasrallah advirtió que ningún lugar de Israel se libraría de los ataques de Hezbolá en caso de una guerra total, después de que las FDI aprobase planes operativos para una ofensiva en el Líbano - AFP/ AL-MANAR 
Hassan Nasrallah warned that no part of Israel would be spared Hezbollah attacks in the event of an all-out war, after the IDF approved operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon - AFP/ AL-MANAR 
  1. Hezbollah employs psychological warfare in Haifa, Israel approves 'operational plan' for offensive 
  2. Lebanon does not seek war, says Lebanese prime minister 

In the midst of escalating tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, and shortly after the United States sent Amos Hochstein to try to avoid an open war, the leader of the Lebanese militia - backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran - has published a new speech in which he maintains his rhetoric against Israel and, in addition, launches a threat to Cyprus.  

Hasan Nasrallah has warned the Mediterranean country, a member of the European Union, that it would be considered "part of the war" if it allows Israel to use its airports and military bases to attack Lebanon.  

Cyprus, which hosts British bases on its territory, has responded to Nasrallah's threats by assuring that it "does not participate in any military conflict and positions itself as part of the solution and not the problem". In this sense, the Cypriot president, Nikos Christodoulides, highlighted his role as a humanitarian facilitator, which is "recognised globally and particularly in the Arab world". 

In addition to this message to Nicosia, Nasrallah once again used his traditional warmongering rhetoric towards Israel, assuring that no part of the Hebrew state "will be spared" from Hezbollah's rockets in the event of an open war. 

Mapa de la zona fronteriza entre Líbano e Israel - AFP/AFP
Map of the Lebanon-Israel border area - AFP/AFP

"The enemy knows well that we have prepared for the worst," Nasrallah said in his televised speech during a ceremony dedicated to Taleb Abdullah, a senior Shi'ite militia commander who was recently eliminated by Israel. Abdullah is the most senior Hezbollah official Israel has taken out since the start of hostilities in October. 

Miembros de Hezbolá en el funeral de Taleb Abdallah, un alto comandante eliminado en un ataque de Israel - REUTERS/MOHAMED AZAKIRA
Hezbollah members at the funeral of Taleb Abdallah, a senior commander killed in an Israeli strike - REUTERS/MOHAMED AZAKIRA

Respecting the escalating conflict, Nasrallah admitted that his militia is not seeking "all-out war" and is only acting in support of Hamas. "We will continue to support Gaza and we are ready for anything. We are not afraid. Our demand is clear: a complete and permanent ceasefire in Gaza," stressed Nasrallah, who rejected the truce plan recently proposed by US President Joe Biden, as it does not stipulate that the cessation of fighting should be permanent. 

In the event of open war, a scenario that seems increasingly likely, Nasrallah said Hezbollah would fight "without rules". "Israel knows that what awaits it in the Mediterranean is also very big," Nasrallah added, without elaborating. This warning, according to The Times of Israel, could refer to attacks by the militia on Israeli offshore gas platforms.

Hezbollah employs psychological warfare in Haifa, Israel approves 'operational plan' for offensive 

In his speech, Nasrallah also highlighted Hezbollah's military capabilities, referring to a video recently released by the Lebanese militia showing civilian and military infrastructure near Haifa. 

The video, filmed during the day by a drone, shows residential neighbourhoods and a military complex near Haifa, as well as the city's port. Haifa's mayor, Yona Yahav, called the video "psychological terror", demanding a protection plan for his city, something also demanded by local authorities in northern Israel.  

According to Nasrallah, Hizbollah has "hours" of such footage and information on military targets inside Israel, including some that are not in the north of the country.   

For his part, IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi downplayed the significance of Hezbollah's publication of the images, stressing that the army is "preparing and building solutions to deal with such capabilities". He added that the IDF possesses "infinitely more powerful capabilities" that Hizbollah is unaware of. Moreover, Israeli military authorities have approved an "operational plan" for the offensive in Lebanon.  

Soldados tomando posiciones en la Franja de Gaza - AFP/Fuerzas de Defensa de Israel 
Soldiers taking up positions in the Gaza Strip - AFP/Israeli Defence Forces 

Lebanon does not seek war, says Lebanese prime minister 

In an effort to reduce tension and avoid an escalation of war, US Special Envoy Amos Hochstein visited Israel and Lebanon this week, where he met with Lebanese army commander Joseph Aoun in the presence of US Ambassador to Beirut Lisa Johnson. 

Hochstein also held a meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and the country's interim prime minister, Najib Mikati, who stressed that Lebanon does not seek an escalation on the border, calling for an end to "continued Israeli aggression and the return of calm and stability on the southern border," according to the National News Agency.  

El primer ministro interino del Líbano, Najib Mikati, se reúne con el enviado especial estadounidense Amos Hochstein en Beirut el 18 de junio de 2024 - AFP PHOTO / OFICINA DE PRENSA DEL PRIMER MINISTRO LIBANÉS 
Lebanon's interim Prime Minister Najib Mikati meets with U.S. special envoy Amos Hochstein in Beirut June 18, 2024 - AFP PHOTO / PRESS OFFICE OF THE LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER 

Furthermore, according to The Wall Street Journal, Hochstein has engaged in indirect talks with Hezbollah with Berri as an intermediary. Washington is seeking a deal involving the withdrawal of the Iranian-backed militia from the border area, relocating some 30 kilometres north of the border with Israel. Hezbollah has rejected this, maintaining its offensive against Israel until a Gaza truce is established on its terms.