Israel warns Hezbollah of destruction in 'total war'

Israel warns Hezbollah of destruction in 'total war'
Israel has warned Lebanon's Hezbollah of destruction in a 'total war' after the group released drone footage of Haifa.
2 min read
Foreign minister Israel Katz gave the warning [Getty]

Israel on Tuesday warned Hezbollah it would be destroyed in the event of a "total war", after a US envoy called for de-escalation on the Lebanese border as tensions flare.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz's comments came after Hezbollah published a more than nine-minute video showing drone footage purportedly taken by the movement over northern Israel, including parts of the city and port of Haifa.

Israel and Lebanese movement Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, have traded near-daily cross-border fire since Israel began its war on Gaza.

"We are very close to the moment when we will decide to change the rules of the game against Hezbollah and Lebanon," Katz said, quoted in a statement from his office.

"In a total war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be hit hard."

US envoy Amos Hochstein, on a visit to Lebanon, earlier Tuesday called for an "urgent" de-escalation of the cross-border fire between Hezbollah and Israel.

"The conflict... between Israel and Hezbollah has gone on for long enough," the presidential envoy said on a visit to Beirut.

"It's in everyone's interest to resolve it quickly and diplomatically -- that is both achievable and it is urgent."

Hezbollah stepped up attacks on northern Israel last week after an Israeli strike killed one of its senior commanders.

The Hezbollah video, which AFP was unable to immediately verify independently, pinpointed what the Lebanese movement said were Israeli military, defence and energy facilities, as well as civilian and military infrastructure.

Hochstein met with Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri, a key Hezbollah ally, a day after holding talks in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Speaker Berri and I had a very good discussion," Hochstein said.

"We discussed the current security and political situation in Lebanon as well as the deal on the table right now with respect to Gaza, which also provides an opportunity to end the conflict across the Blue Line," he added, referring to the demarcation line between Israel and Lebanon.