"Part of our plan in the next war is to enter into Galilee, a part of our plan we are capable of, God willing. The important thing is that we have this capability and we have had it for years," said Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in an interview.

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, center, flanked by his bodyguards, addresses the crowd (File)
Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, center, flanked by his bodyguards, addresses the crowd (File) (AP)

Iran-backed Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Saturday that his group has "for years" been able to enter Israel, responding for the first time to Israel's discovery of tunnels dug into Israeli territory from Lebanon.

Israel said last month it had discovered Hezbollah "attack tunnels" and the UN Middle East envoy this week confirmed the existence of two of them, which he said constituted a breach of the 2006 truce existing between Israel and Lebanon.

Nasrallah indicated the tunnels had been dug long ago and it was "a surprise" that Israel took so long to locate them.

"One of the tunnels discovered goes back 13 years," he said, without discussing how old any other tunnels were.

UN Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, said both sides must stick to their side of the border and that the group must leave the area around the frontier.

Nasrallah said Hezbollah did not want to draw Lebanon into a war with Israel but added that there was a fear that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might miscalculate before the Israeli elections in April and do something rash.

Warn against Israel

Hassan Nasrallah also warned Israel against continuing strikes in Syria, saying resistance axis may react differently to Israeli strikes in Syria 'at any moment'.

Addressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly, Nasrallah said: "Don't make an error of judgement and don't lead the region towards war or a major clash."

Israel has said the first strikes targeted mainly facilities it claimed belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force.

It said they were in response to a medium-range, surface-to-surface missile the Quds Force fired from Syria at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Sunday, which Israeli air defences intercepted.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said 21 people had been killed in the strikes, the majority of them Iranians.

The Israeli army has since 2013 claimed hundreds of attacks on what it says are Iranian military targets and advanced arms deliveries to Hezbollah, with the goal of stopping its main enemy Iran from entrenching itself militarily in neighbouring Syria.

Source: Reuters