Concerns over the health of Hassan Nasrallah erupted across the media only hours after the Hezbollah leader looked to be coughing during a televised speech.
In the beginning of his remarks, marking the 21st anniversary if Israel’s full withdrawal from the southern Lebanese lands, Nasrallah made apologies for his absence after Quds day, a worldwide ceremony to voice support for the Palestinian cause in the last Friday of Ramadan, and attributed it to unwell physical condition.
“I apologize for my absence from Quds Day until today, I have been suffering from heavy coughing, making it difficult for me to speak,” Hezbollah leader said.
Weeks earlier, when he remained reticent during the spike of clashes between Palestine and Israel leading to a 11-day exchange of fire between the two sides, he rejected the rumors about his contraction of Covid-19. Many people were perplexed as to why Nasrallah was nowhere to be seen during the most recent wave of Israeli aggression in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, which claimed the lives of over 250 Palestinians and 12 Israelis.
During the 100-minute speech on TV, Nasrallah coughed for a couple of times which provided the supply for the mainstream media who, spiced with wordings like “fatigue” or “shortness of breath”, attributed it to contraction of covid again.
A day later, sources close to Hezbollah denied the relation between his coughing and contraction of Coronavirus. They asserted that the Nasrallah, as he acknowledged during the speech, was suffering from pneumonia and seasonal allergies.
This is not the first time that Nasrallah shows symptoms of seasonal allergies. According to Al Joumhouria, springtime fever has been a recurrent complication for Hezbollah leader in former years. According to sources familiar with Nasrallah, as quoted by Al Joumhouria, “Previously he had been treated without any commotion or anyone noticing, as it was not during occasions where he had to publicly appear, unlike this time.”
Nasrallah’s family also rejected the rumors about his physical condition referring to “an allergy” as the main cause.
The rumors spiked during the past days with some even claiming that the 60-year leader has lost his life. Arab and western media outlet, chiefly under the influence of Israeli media, reported that Nasrallah has died on Monday afternoon. The rumor, then, exploded in social media.
Al-Sarira’s local reporter, in contact with multiple sources close to Nasrallah, found that Hezbollah Leader is in good physical condition and is not even in need of hospitalization. As such, the death reports were strongly denied. Hezbollah leader is even doing his daily routines and keeps on with his works.
Nasrallah and a History of Death Reports
The propagation of reports about the death of Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, is not an unprecedented issue.
In 2019, as one example, Nasrallah was reported by Israeli outlets to be in critical health condition. Some other reports described him on the verge of death while others went too far to report him dead.
The fake reports are published by the mainstream media in a world in which no definite barrier could be found to the free circulation of information. The fake reports are easily rejected, but the impact of such report could not be easily wiped out of the mentality of public community.
Hassan Nasrallah, as a renowned and influential speaker of resistance forces in the Middle East, has had huge share in influencing the public opinion over the truth beneath the developments in the region.
Nasrallah has been the target of assassination for the same reason since decades ago. For this reason, he has not been seen in public, except for a few times, since 2006 war with Israel.
Desperate about the physical removal of Nasrallah, the new strategy is to impact his fans and followers with fake reports about his physical condition. Decades after the first death reports, nevertheless, Hezbollah leader is healthful and his televised speeches are more tenacious than ever.