On Tuesday evening, Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, appeared in public view after days of doubt regarding the health of the influential Lebanon-based political party and militant group which has close ties with Iran.
Mr Nasrallah’s scheduled speech set for the previous Friday was called off at the last minute due to the announcement that he was suffering from the flu by Hezbollah.
News broke out, mainly from Israel, that the sixty-two-year-old had experienced a stroke, was being aided by a respirator, or was in a critical care unit.
Israel and Hezbollah have a long history of hostility and have clashed with each other several times, including a full-fledged war that lasted for a month in 2006.
On Tuesday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave a live address to commemorate the third anniversary of the death of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force.
Mr Nasrallah experienced bouts of coughing and his voice had become rougher than usual, yet he still managed to talk without too much hassle. He stated that he had been dealing with a tender throat for the last three decades.
“We wanted to be very transparent and honest with you… I apologise if I led you to concern. I thank you for your love… and all those who prayed for me,” he said in the televised speech.
“But I would like to make you rest assured because I saw that some of the media, some of the Israeli media, Gulf media… some said that I had a stroke, some said I was on certain breathing machines, I’ve been hospitalised, I’m in a coma,” he said, blaming a flu flare up the cancellation of the speech last Friday.
On Sunday, Jawad, Hassan Nasrallah’s son, denied allegations that his father was in a grave state of health. He reported that he had just conversed with his dad a half-hour prior, in opposition to a story released by an Israeli news source that Hassan Nasrallah was severely ill with either the flu or Covid-19 and had been placed on a ventilator and rendered unconscious.
Image Credit Anwar AMRO / AFP