The defense minister told reservists that Israel can “copy and paste” what it is doing to Hamas in Gaza onto Hezbollah in Lebanon.
If Hezbollah wants to step up attacks on Israel, the IDF will preemptively increase its operations fivefold, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned in a visit to reservists stationed in the northern city of Metula on Sunday.
In his visit to the 91st Division, Gallant stressed that the Israeli government will do everything in its power to bring civilians back to their homes in northern border communities, saying that “we will not allow their displacement for much longer.”
The defense minister said that Israel “will bring everyone back, whether it is through force or a [diplomatic] agreement. We do not want war but we will not keep this situation going. If Hezbollah wants to take this up a level, we will take it up five levels,” he added, in a direct warning to the Lebanese terror organization.
Gallant told reservists that Israel can “copy and paste” what it is doing to Hamas in Gaza onto Hezbollah in Lebanon.
“What we are doing in Gaza, we can do in Beirut,” the defense minister said in Metula. “If we will be dragged into a violent conflict, a war, [Hezbollah] will pay a heavy price.”
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant addresses soldiers near the Lebanese border, December 17, 2023 (credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Hezbollah drone kills IDF reservist in Saturday clashes
On Saturday, the IDF announced that Yehezkel Azaria, 53 years old from Petah Tikva, fell during operations on the northern border with Lebanon on Saturday. Two other IDF soldiers were also wounded during the incident, which took place during a barrage of drones fired from across the Lebanese border into Israel.
It was reported last week that Israel was “close to reaching a diplomatic solution” to move the Hezbollah terror organization away from the northern border with Lebanon.
There were at least three rounds of exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israel on Sunday.
As has occurred throughout the conflict, Hezbollah fired rockets and anti-tank missiles, while the IDF responded with a mix of artillery fire and airstrikes.
As in recent days, there was a more detailed description by the IDF of more comprehensively attacking certain Hezbollah command and terror infrastructure areas along with killing some of the terror group attack crews before they had the opportunity to fire.
Both sides have appeared to flex their military muscle more in the last week, seemingly in anticipation of seeking to stake out as aggressive positions as possible about what terms the conflict will end on in the North when the Israel-Hamas war concludes in the South.
Source : The Jerusalem Post