According to Press TV, Sheikh Qassem said in an interview with a Lebanese TV channel on Sunday “I don’t think Israel is ready to start a conflict with Lebanon now because the situation is complicated and Israel is not interested in war.”
“But if it wants to launch a war, we are ready,” he added.
Qassem also dismissed allegations made earlier in the day by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Hezbollah controlled the new government in Lebanon, “and thus Iran controls it.”
“These allegations are not important. Hezbollah considers itself part of a national unity government in Lebanon,” the cleric said.
The senior Hezbollah leader noted that only three of Lebanon’s new government ministers are members of Hezbollah. “We are only 10 percent,” he said.
Late in January, Lebanon’s presidency announced the formation of a new government, putting an end to a nine-month stalemate on the political stage.
The breakthrough came after rival factions worked out a compromise allowing representation of Sunni lawmakers backed by the Hezbollah resistance movement.
Rival political groups had been locked in disagreement over the make-up of a new government since May, after the country’s first parliamentary elections in nine years.
Hezbollah has taken three cabinet posts in the new government, the largest number of portfolios it has ever held.
The movement has received the health portfolio, the first time Hezbollah has controlled a ministry with a big budget. The resistance movement has chosen Jamil Jabak as the new health minister, despite the fact that he is not a member of the movement.
Reports have attributed Hezbollah’s bigger role in Lebanon’s new cabinet to Syria war gains.
Hezbollah forces have been assisting the Syrian government on the ground to clear areas bordering Lebanon from terrorist groups.