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Netanyahu dismisses 'embarrassed' Hezbollah leader's threat

Published
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office, in Jerusalem, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (Abir Sultan Pool via AP)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed threats made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, saying the Iranian-backed group is "in distress" and "very embarrassed."

Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday that the Hezbollah leader "broke his silence" in a televised address on Saturday because the militants group faced major financial pressure due to U.S. sanctions against Iran, and because of a recent Israeli operation to eliminate Hezbollah tunnels crossing into Israel.

Nasrallah's address was his first public appearance since November, during which time Israel intensified strikes against suspected Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah in Syria. He warned Netanyahu not to continue attacking Syria, lest he "drag the region into a war or a major confrontation."

Netanyahu says "Nasrallah has good reasons not to want to feel the might of our arm."

FILE -In this Nov. 3, 2014 file photo, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah addresses supporters ahead of the Shiite Ashura commemorations, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. On Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, the head of Lebanon's Hezbollah group is warning Israel of widening its attacks in Syria because a miscalculation can drag the region into a war. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office, in Jerusalem, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (Abir Sultan Pool via AP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office, in Jerusalem, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (Abir Sultan Pool via AP)
FILE -In this Nov. 3, 2014 file photo, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah addresses supporters ahead of the Shiite Ashura commemorations, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. On Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, the head of Lebanon's Hezbollah group is warning Israel of widening its attacks in Syria because a miscalculation can drag the region into a war. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)
FILE -In this Nov. 3, 2014 file photo, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah addresses supporters ahead of the Shiite Ashura commemorations, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. On Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, the head of Lebanon's Hezbollah group is warning Israel of widening its attacks in Syria because a miscalculation can drag the region into a war. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)