Al-Mayadeen report, July 25, 2020.
On July 26th, Sheikh Naim Qassem, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General, confirmed that Israel sent them a letter via the UN, though he refused to comment on its content. He stated that Hezbollah declined to reply, and would not comment on what it is going to do, leaving Israel on coals of fire.
Senior Lebanese political analyst Anis Naqqash, closely linked to Hezbollah, stated the following in an interview to Al-Mayadeen on July 26:
[…] Anis Naqqash: This letter is the greatest proof of Israel’s weakness and fear of Hezbollah’s response. (Recall that in the past) Israel slaughtered (civilians) by the hundreds, and did not apologize or send (explanatory) letters. Israel committed aggressions and occupied territories, and did not apologize or send (explanatory) letters. (But) today, fearing Hezbollah’s reaction, Israel sends an urgent letter via the UN as an apology, because they are afraid of the reaction.
First, the fact that Hezbollah did not make the contents of the letter public helps to make it irrelevant. If they had published it, they would have given the impression of wanting to make public what Israel said. Second, the fact that Hezbollah did not respond to the letter confuses Israel. Despite their apologies and asking for forgiveness, what is Hezbollah’s response? Absolute silence. This leaves Israel in a state of great disarray. (Hezbollah) has also confirmed (via its Deputy Secretary General) that Hezbollah will do what they have to do when the time comes, which also leaves more to fear (in Israel).
Therefore, today Israel is clearly in a state of continued confusion and fear, and the statements of Sheikh Naim (Qassem) today will not allow them to sleep peacefully, on the contrary, they are even more worried (after hearing him).
Journalist: Israel therefore stands on one foot and a half (Nasrallah’s formula to designate the fear and terror of Israeli soldiers, ready to flee at full speed at the slightest alarm) without even the Hezbollah Secretary General needing to speak (and warn them of an imminent response)?
Anis Naqqash: The last time he warned them, but this time they (already) know what to expect. It’s like an unruly pupil standing up and facing the wall on his own every time he does something silly. Today Israel stands up and faces the wall, and does so on one foot and a half, taking (drastic) precautions. No one can say if the response will come before the Eid-el-Kebir or after, or even if the response will take the Eid festival into account or not. Everything is possible on the part of the Resistance.
Journalist: But isn’t the fact that Hezbollah has not made public the contents of the letter a sign of seriousness, respect and responsibility given that it is an official letter that has been delivered via the United Nations? Isn’t that an important sign (of maturity)?
Anis Naqqash: This can only be understood by comparison with what the Arab leaders and Presidents, and even the former leaders of the Palestinian resistance factions, used to do when they received such marks of attention from the (Israeli) enemy, or from the United States or Europe. The mere fact that one of these countries paid them attention, made a mere gesture of consideration towards them, they were quick to show it to everyone (as a sign of pride), (boasting) that they had received a glance, a letter from such or such country, an apology, etc. Their opponents saw them as eager for any sign of recognition from the enemy.
As far as Hezbollah is concerned, it is quite the opposite. Hezbollah does not attach any importance to the enemy and its stances. Of course, they study them closely (one has to know its enemy very well), but they do not give them this importance, they don’t manifest this avidity (towards any sign of respect from the enemy). Hezbollah doesn’t rush to their people telling them, “Look, look, they’ve apologized to us!” The confidence of Hezbollah’s grassroots in the Resistance is much higher than that, and they know Israel is afraid of it regardless of what they can say in any letter. This is why Hezbollah does not attach importance to it and does not bother to respond to it, making it clear that for them, whether Israel sent the letter or not, it is the same thing and it will not change anything (about the inevitable response). We have to analyze this from the point of view of psychological warfare, of politics, in order to correctly assess the strategic capacities of the Resistance with regard to political, security and media battles. […]
While Israel’s “apologies” to Hezbollah are pathetic and can prevent in no way the inevitable retaliation, it must be emphasized that Israel certainly does everything it can to avoid hitting Hezbollah operatives when it strikes Syria —and therefore tries hard not to kill anyone at all—, going so far as warning them before hitting one of their vehicles, as we can see in this video from last April.
“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah