Netanyahu dismisses Hezbollah warning

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured August 8, 2019) said he was "not impressed" by Nasrallah's threats (AFP Photo/Menahem KAHANA)

Jerusalem (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday he was "unimpressed" by a speech from Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah in which the Lebanese Shiite leader warned of his movement's military strength.

Nasrallah spoke in a TV broadcast Friday marking the anniversary of a 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.

A month of fighting killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Nasrallah said that the 2006 war had helped Hezbollah develop "a military system to defend our villages, towns and cities".

"If (Israel) enters southern Lebanon... you will see a live broadcast of the destruction of Israeli brigades," he warned.

Netanyahu responded Saturday that "we are not impressed by Nasrallah's threats".

"He knows very well why he broadcasts them from the depths of his bunker," he said in a statement on WhatsApp.

Nasrallah is rarely seen in public.

In a 2014 interview Lebanon's Al-Akhbar newspaper, he said that he regularly switched sleeping places, particularly since the 2006 war, but denied that he lived in hiding.

"I don't live in a bunker," he said. "The point of security measures is that movement be kept secret, but that doesn't stop me from moving around and seeing what is happening."