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Hezbollah's Nasrallah refrains from entering Israel-Hamas war, praises Iraq, Yemen proxies

In his first public speech since Hamas’ attack on Israel, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the operation was purely Palestinian, that his movement had no hand in it, and accused the US of direct involvement in the Gaza war.
People gather in the Imam Hussein square in Tehran, during the televised speech of Lebanese Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah November 3, 2023. Nasrallah told the United States on November 3, that his Iran-backed group was ready to face its warships and the way to prevent a regional war was to halt the attacks in Gaza. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

BEIRUT — The head of the powerful paramilitary Hezbollah movement in Lebanon broke his silence on Friday after nearly a month of skirmishes on the Lebanese-Israeli border amid the ongoing Hamas-Israel war, betting on a Hamas “victory” in the conflict and praising recent attacks by affiliated groups in Iraq and Yemen.

“The end of this battle will be Gaza’s victory, and the defeat of this enemy,” said Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's secretary-general, in a much-anticipated televised speech amid growing concerns over the potential of the war in the Gaza Strip to evolve into a wider regional conflict.

In the speech broadcast to thousands of supporters gathered at various locations in Lebanon, including Dahiyeh, Hezbollah’s main stronghold in Beirut's southern suburbs, Nasrallah warned that the situation on the Lebanese front hinges on Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip and in Lebanon, but refrained from declaring any official intervention in the war. 

“Our Lebanese front is open to all possibilities,” he said. “We should all be ready and prepared for all possibilities and scenarios to come.” Nasrallah added that an expanded war was a “realistic possibility.”

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