UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Hezbollah is preparing a “deliberate strike” against Israel after two drones crashed in Beirut but aims to avert a new war, two sources allied to Lebanon’s Hezbollah group told Reuters on Tuesday.
“A thoughtful reaction is now being arranged so that it does not lead to a war neither Hezbollah nor Israel want,” one source said.
“Now go for a thoughtful blow. But how to roll things this is a second topic, wars are not always the result of logical decisions.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah should “calm down” after warning Israel it was preparing an imminent response to the crash of the two drones in Beirut’s southern suburbs.
In a speech on Sunday, Nasrallah accused Israel of launching a drone attack that exploded earlier that day.
“I say to the Israeli army on the border,” he said. “From tonight, stand on the wall on a man and a half. We waited for two, three and four days. We waited. It won’t pass.”
One of the planes exploded near the ground, damaging the Hezbollah media center in the southern suburbs of Beirut, which the group controls. Israel has not claimed responsibility for the two drones.
“I heard what Nasrallah said,” Netanyahu said in a speech. I propose to Nasrallah to calm down. He knows very well that Israel knows how to defend itself and respond to its enemies.”
Details on where the planes were launched were not clear. Hezbollah said the two planes were carrying explosives after its experts dismantled the first plane.
Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet, was asked in an interview with Israeli Army Radio whether Israel had attacked ground targets in Lebanon in the past few days.
“Of course we did not respond to the accusations against us,” Hanegbi said. On the face of it, these things seem strange and deceptive. The media mentioned that fact – these are baseless allegations.”
Lebanon’s Supreme Council of Defense, which includes the president, prime minister and army chief, met on Tuesday and stressed “the right of the Lebanese to defend themselves by all means against any aggression”.
Israel considers Hezbollah the biggest threat across its borders. In the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, some 1,200 people were killed in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 158 in Israel, mostly military.
Regional sources say Israel and Hezbollah have reached an unwritten understanding that although they could exchange fire in Syria, any attacks in Lebanon or Israel should be avoided for fear of escalating into war.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Monday his country had the right to defend itself and likened the attack to the two drones as a “declaration of war”.
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