HIZBULLAH PREPARED FOR WAR IF THRUST UPON

HIZBULLAH PREPARED FOR WAR IF THRUST UPON

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Hizbullah is prepared for a new war with Israel, but it will not start one, deputy leader Naim Qassem said. The group also issued a statement criticising UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s reaction to recent statements from Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Qaasem also warned that Israel would pay “a high price” in any future war. His comments, published in the daily Al-Akhbar, followed last month’s threat by Nasrallah to retaliate with “open war” against Israel for the assassination of one of his top commanders, Imad Mughniyeh. Asked if there will be war, Qassem said, “Hizbullah cannot confirm, because it does not want to initiate it.”  “The Israelis know they have to pay a high price in any war,” he said, adding that Hizbullah “is well prepared to face an Israeli, American and international war.” He was perhaps referring to the recent deployment of US warships off Lebanon’s coast, a move the US has said was aimed at protecting its interests in the region.