JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday warned Lebanon, Hezbollah’s chief and the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force to “be careful” with their words and actions.
Addressing Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Netanyahu told a conference that “he knows very well that the state of Israel knows how to defend itself well, and to repay its enemies.”
“I want to say to him and the Lebanese state, which is hosting this organization that aims to destroy us, and I say the same to Qassem Soleimani: Be careful about your words, and even more cautious about your actions.”
He suggested that Nasrallah “calm down”.
Netanyahu spoke after a series of incidents in recent days that raised tensions between Israel, Lebanon, Iran and Tehran-backed Hezbollah.
Nasrallah has accused Israel of being behind a drone attack on the Lebanese Shiite movement’s Beirut stronghold on Sunday, and threatened retaliation.
He called it the first such “hostile action” since a 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun called it a “declaration of war.”
Hours before the Beirut incident, Israel said it had carried out a strike in neighboring Syria to thwart what it said was a plan by an Iranian force to attack its territory with drones.
On Monday, a pro-Syrian Palestinian group accused Israel of carrying out a drone attack on one of its positions in Lebanon.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria, targeting what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.
Iran and Hezbollah, along with Russia, have backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country’s civil war.
Netanyahu has pledged to stop Israel’s archenemy Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria.
© Agence France-Presse