Nasrallah: Ground Invasion for Israel Would be a Mistake

BEIRUT: Hamas has the capacity to engage militarily in a ground operation with Israel, should the Jewish State decide to launch one, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said over the weekend.

Mammoth-Israeli-Bomb-in-Gaza-city

Mammoth Israeli Bomb in Gaza city. Seen in the image is smoke billowing from a spot targeted by an Israeli air strike inside the Gaza strip on November 15, 2012. Photo by AFP

“I affirm to you that even in a ground operation by Israel, the resistance in Gaza, thank God, has sufficient capabilities, will and plans which were formulated after the 2008 war to fill in gaps, [to face Israel],” Nasrallah said Saturday during a televised speech on the third day of Ashura.

“I think that the Israelis would be engaging in a folly and making a very big mistake if they decide to launch a ground military operation against Gaza,” he added.

Earlier this week, Israel launched an aerial attack killing a top Hamas military commander, prompting the party to respond with rocket fire that reached Tel Aviv.

Israel has begun preparing for what appears to be a ground invasion of Gaza, calling up 16,000 reservists and gathering tanks outside the enclave after days of air strikes.

Nasrallah said that Israel is already in a state of confusion after only a few days of reciprocal attacks, because of Hamas’ capabilities and its possession of long and medium range missiles.

The Hezbollah chief also voiced confidence that Hamas can still attack Tel Aviv, some parts of Jerusalem and other areas, saying: “There might be other surprises the resistance is preparing in Gaza in this confrontation.”

In a bid to end the fighting, which has raised concerns of a possible all-out war between the two sides, Arab and Western figures visited Gaza, Jerusalem and other areas over the weekend in an attempt to reach a cease-fire.

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi said Saturday that there were some indications of a cease-fire but there were no guarantees.

Nasrallah, who has urged Arab countries to pressure Israel to end the aerial attack, said Hamas is in a different position today as the Palestinian resistance places conditions on a truce.

“In the Cairo talks, [Hamas] is the one placing conditions and rejecting a cease-fire at any price. One of the conditions is to end the blockade on Gaza and have international and regional guarantees that the Israeli enemy will not assassinate or launch a new aggression,” he said.

He reiterated his demand for Arab countries to take the necessary steps including cutting oil production in order to pressure Israel to end its “aggression,” saying that “with one phone call, [U.S. President Barack] Obama can stop the war.”

He added that Hamas is capable of victory but it still needs serious Arab support.

“We fear that some Arab countries will pressure the Palestinian resistance to abandon its rightful demands so that they can say that they played a role in calming the situation in front of the U.S. Administration and Obama,” Nasrallah added.

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