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War Drums: Imminent Conflict Between Israel & Hezbollah

News Image By PNW Staff June 21, 2024
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Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned on Wednesday of the potential outbreak of a wider conflict with Hezbollah, as the Iranian-backed terror group continued to launch rockets and drones at the Jewish state.

Gallant made the comments during a situation assessment with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi at the military's Northern Command.

"We are achieving readiness on land and in the air, strengthening our intelligence systems and preparing for every scenario," said Gallant. "We must all remember that Hezbollah started a war against us on Oct. 8, a day after Hamas attacked Israel, and since then, it has not stopped. We have an obligation to change the situation in the north, and to ensure the safe return of our citizens to their homes, and we will find a way to achieve this," he added.

"Hezbollah's increasing aggression is bringing us to the brink of what could be a wider escalation, one that could have devastating consequences for Lebanon and the entire region," IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in an English-language video statement.

"When we say that we will not let October 7th happen again on any one of our borders, we mean it," Hagari added.


Noting Hezbollah's "refusal to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1701," which ended the Second Lebanon War and mandated that the terror group withdraw north of the Litani River, Hagari said that "because of Hezbollah's military infrastructure, weapons and fire at Israel from the area south of the Litani River in southern Lebanon, and because of Lebanon's failure to enforce 1701 on Hezbollah, Israel will take the necessary measures to protect its civilians, until security along our border with Lebanon is restored."

Hagari warned that "one way or another we will ensure the safe and secure return of Israelis to their homes in northern Israel. That is not up for negotiation."

The Israel Defense Forces' Northern Command announced on Tuesday the approval of operational plans for a war against Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon and are now prepared for the next steps when they should come.

Hezbollah and Israel have been escalating cross-border strikes for weeks. After rocket attacks caused massive fires in the north of the country, Israel last week killed commander Taleb Abdullah, the most senior official killed in the fighting. Hezbollah responded with unprecedented rocket barrages on northern Israel.

Israeli Ynet news site reported that an anonymous "senior Israeli government official" told the news outlet that "if Hezbollah continues to attack Israel, southern Lebanon will look like Gaza. Beirut will not be immune."

CBS News reported that US officials were also increasingly concerned that an all-out war could break out and had sent Amos Hochstein, a senior adviser to US President Joe Biden to try to negotiate a calm however reports indicate his mission has failed.

Hezbollah has been attacking Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis since October 8, which it says it's doing in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, amid the war started by ally Hamas's terror onslaught.


Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened an invasion of Israel's Galilee region and an attack on Cyprus during a televised address on Wednesday concerning the terror group's war against the Jewish state.

It marked the first time that the Iranian proxy steeped in Lebanon has directly threatened the Eastern Mediterranean island nation.

Nasrallah said Cyprus would be considered "a part of the war" if Nicosia continued to allow Israel to use its airports and bases for military exercises.

According to the Cyprus Mail, it is believed that the airports and bases refer to the Royal Air Force Akrotiri, a permanent military base that supports ongoing operations in the region and support for the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus.

"Opening Cypriot airports and bases to the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon would mean that the Cypriot government is part of the war, and the resistance will deal with it as part of the war," he said.

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides responded to Nasrallah's threat, saying these "statements that do not reflect reality. Cyprus remains uninvolved in any military conflict, and positions itself as part of the solution--not as a problem," the Cyprus Mail reported.

Nasrallah warned that Israel, not Hezbollah, should be fearful and that nowhere in Israel would be safe in the case of a wider war, which he said that Hezbollah is not seeking, with the terror army fighting with "no rules" and "no ceilings."

On Tuesday, Hezbollah published video captured by a surveillance UAV of the Haifa Port, one of Israel's most important commercial shipping gateways.


According to the Lebanese newspaper Elnashra, Hezbollah plans to attack Haifa if Israel expands the fighting and, in the next stage, additional cities, including Tel Aviv.

"It is not by chance that Haifa was included in the equation of the war currently being waged in southern Lebanon," the Lebanese media outlet stated. "This city has been marked by Hezbollah as a target in the event of an expansion of the war. If the Israelis enter into large-scale military confrontations... in the area south and north of Litani, Haifa will be a legitimate target for Hezbollah."

"Strategic, military, and civilian facilities were scanned, continuing the equation drawn by Hezbollah that destruction will be met with destruction, and civilian casualties will be met with civilian casualties," Elnashra wrote.

"The drone also scanned a military-industrial facility belonging to Rafael, which is the most dangerous thing the video contained for the Israelis."

Sources quoted in the newspaper warned Israel that Hezbollah has precision missiles capable of hitting these targets. "The footage was evidence for the Israelis that Hezbollah holds a database of strategic Israeli targets," the sources warned.

The sources cited in Elnashra presented a possible scenario for the first days of the war, during which Haifa and Tel Aviv would be attacked. 

"If Israel makes a decision to expand the war in the south or launch a major military operation in the south, Hezbollah will respond according to the level of escalation, and the vital area in Haifa will be targeted with conventional missiles. To distract the defense systems, the organization will simultaneously attack targets related to the Iron Dome and David's Sling. 

Israel's air defense will be exposed to direct hits, as has happened before. In the next stage, Hezbollah will launch dozens of precision missiles carrying large warheads at specific targets in and around Haifa port."

The sources claimed that "Israel has not seen this scenario before and understands it will experience it if it decides to enter into a large-scale war."




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