In Speech, Nasrallah Explains Hezbollah’s Role in War with Israel

On November 3, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah gave his first public remarks since Hamas’s October 7 attack. Superficially, the speech was intended to recognize “martyrs.” But it also served to put Hamas’s attack in the broader context of Iran’s and, according to Nasrallah, the entire region’s ambition to eradicate Israel. Although Nasrallah went to pains to describe 10/7 as a “Palestinian” operation, he also wanted to make sure that Hezbollah got credit for doing “more than it did in 2006” and signal that it will continue its current cross-border attacks and but remain below the threshold of opening the northern front, for now.

His remarks suggest he is trying to thread the needle and keep Hezbollah’s options open by supporting Hamas and warning Israel and the United States – particularly noting that the war was the fault of the United States and for which it must be held accountable.

Hezbollah remains relatively restrained mainly because of direction from Tehran – for whom Hezbollah is key to responding in the event of an attack on Iran – as well as risks to the group due to the Lebanese casualties that result from Hezbollah’s escalation.

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Jacob Olidort – Director of Research