The threat of a second war front remains a real possibility amid Israel’s blockade of Gaza, says the leader of Iran-backed Hezbollah.
“We are fully prepared — when the time comes — for any action that we will carry out,” said Sheikh Naim Qasem, Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General.
Just hours before, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian spoke in Beirut, Lebanon with Hassan Nasrallah, then leader of Hezbollah in 2006.
According to a statement by Hezbollah, they discussed “everyone’s responsibilities” regarding these historical events and developments.”
“Of course in the case of the continuation of war crimes and the humanitarian blockade of Gaza and Palestine every possibility and decision by the other currents of the resistance is possible,” Amirabdollahian told reporters on the possibility of a second front.
According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, at least 1,799 Palestinians have died as of writing in retaliatory air strikes by Israel of alleged Hamas outposts in residential areas, and places of worship.
On Thursday, more than 1,300 Israelis were confirmed dead following a series of unprecedented terrorist attacks on October 7 by Hamas, a designated terrorist entity which governs Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised swift action against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which the latter has controlled since 2007.
The country said a “complete siege” of the area had begun, including cutting electricity, food and fuel supplies.
Amirabdollahian condemned the Israel Defence Force (IDF) for killing non-combatants and cutting off electricity and water in the Gaza Strip, as war crimes.
But since October 9, Hezbollah and Hamas militants have traded fire with the IDF in northernmost Israel along its border with Lebanon.
Israel shelled Hezbollah outposts Tuesday in southern Lebanon after Hezbollah fired two missiles at an Israeli post near the border.
The militant group claimed the missiles were retaliation for the killing of three “fighters” on October 9.
The IDF also reported the firing of an anti-tank missile from Lebanon towards an Israeli military post near Arab al-Aramshe — the target of another anti-tank missile on Wednesday.
Hezbollah said it targeted the position "in a decisive retaliation to Zionist aggression on Monday" that supposedly claimed several Israeli casualties.
Hamas also launched at least 15 rockets originating from Lebanon targeted the Western Galilee, setting off sirens in several towns, with the IDF mobilizing tens of thousands of troops in northernmost areas of the country.
In response, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered its largest aircraft carrier to move closer to Israel.
"Let me say again — to any country, any organization, anyone thinking of taking advantage of this situation, I have one word: Don't. Don't," he said in a statement on Tuesday — seemingly reinforcing the warning.
However, the exchange of gunfire, rockets and anti-tank missiles over the past few days has yet to escalate into sustained fighting.
Yet Amirabdollahian told reporters Thursday that Iran would maintain its “political international and media support of the Palestinian resistance” amid an expected ground offensive by the IDF against Hamas over the coming days.
He said Hezbollah — a contingent in the “axis of resistance [against Israel]” alongside Hamas — would be forced to enter the war “[if] the continuation of the war crimes against Palestine and Gaza [continue].”
"[The Israeli army is] prepared for any scenario," spokesman Daniel Hagari told reporters.
"Hezbollah is observing what Israel is doing in Gaza, it sees the volume of the destruction. Hezbollah sees this and understands," he said.
The concerns of a second war front intensified further after former Hamas leader, Khalid Mashal, ordered Muslims to commit Jihad “on the ground” across the globe.
He called Friday, October 13 "The Friday of Al-Aqsa flood” — the day for Muslims to “show anger” toward Israel and America.
Mashal also called for Muslims to compensate “fighters” for the “destruction” they’ve caused in Israel, and to apply “political pressure” to “stop Israel’s military invasion of Gaza.”
“Funds are important but today we are asking for your blood and souls [to be sacrificed for Palestine],” he said.
Since Saturday, Hamas militants have bombarded Israeli towns near Gaza with thousands of rockets, prompting a declaration of war by Israel.