By Mahmut Geldi
BEIRUT (AA) – Hezbollah Secretary-General said Friday that Israel will pay a heavy price if it is responsible for a deadly explosion here in the capital.
“Hezbollah which cannot ignore the killing of one of its fighters, and insists on retaliating for death of one fighter, will not remain silent against Israel if it committed this action, and Israel will pay a similar price,” Hassan Nasrallah said, according to a translation by Lebanon and Hezbollah analyst David A. Daoud.
A powerful Aug. 4 explosion rocked Beirut after a neglected stockpile of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate ignited in a warehouse.
The blast flattened nearby buildings and caused extensive property damage leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.
It came at a time when Lebanon was dealing with a severe financial crisis along with the coronavirus pandemic.
The blast has led to violent demonstrations that have continued despite the resignation of Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his government.
President Michel Aoun said Wednesday that damage could cost more than $15 billion, according to the official Lebanese News Agency.
On the recent deal between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel to normalize relations, Nasrallah said his group was not surprised because various forms of normalizations and cooperation gestures were already underway for a long time.
“But it seems the need for such an announcement was an American one,” he said, adding that US President Donald Trump needs a foreign policy accomplishment before the end of his term.
More Arab countries will make peace with Israel until American elections are held in November, Nasrallah stressed.
– Israel-UAE deal
The deal to normalize UAE-Israel ties was announced Thursday by Trump, forestalling Israel's controversial plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank.
A joint statement by the US, UAE and Israel said the "breakthrough" would promote "peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders," referring to Trump, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu.
Palestinian groups denounced the new agreement, saying it does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of Palestinian people. The UAE's peace deal with Israel is a "treacherous stab in the back of the Palestinian people," Hamas said in a statement.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz