Lebanon- AP-- Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, however, vowed to fire rockets into Tel Aviv if Israel were to strike at Beirut proper. Israeli warplanes have hit Hezbollah strongholds in southern Beirut suburbs repeatedly, most recently before dawn on Thursday.
"If you bomb our capital Beirut, we will bomb the capital of your usurping entity... We will bomb Tel Aviv," he said.
While threatening Tel Aviv for the first time, Nasrallah also offered his first gesture toward diminishing the conflict, which has taken more than 500 Lebanese lives and killed more than 50 Israelis.
"Anytime you decide to stop your campaign against our cities, villages, civilians and infrastructure, we will not fire rockets on any Israeli settlement or city," he said in a taped television speech.
Nasrallah said his forces were succeeding in inflicting "maximum casualties" on Israeli forces in the south of the country, and said his guerrillas would not back down from the brutal fighting around towns and villages across the rugged region.
"We naturally prefer that it is a military against military fight, on the ground, on the battlefield — we are ready for it," he said.