Israeli national security advisor says war with Hezbollah likely

Israeli national security advisor says war with Hezbollah likely
The comments come following threats by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel would "turn Beirut and southern Lebanon... into Gaza and Khan Younis".
2 min read
10 December, 2023
Clashes between Israel and Hezbollah have grown in frequency and scale since 7 October [Photo by JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli national security advisor Tzachi Hanegbi has said that following the end of the war on Gaza, Israel would likely attack Hezbollah in Lebanon "to impose a new reality" amid ongoing border clashes.

Tzachi Hanegbi, who is part of Israel's war cabinet, said that Israel "can no longer accept [Hezbollah's] Radwan force sitting on the border," in an interview with Israel's Channel 12 news.

He claimed that UN Resolution 1701, which states that there will be no armed force other than UN peacekeepers and Lebanese armed forces in southern Lebanon, was not being implemented.

Hanegbi added that Hezbollah could cross the Israeli border "within minutes" referencing Hamas's attack on southern Israel that killed an estimated 1,147 Israelis.

The senior Israeli official said that Israel didn't want to fight a two-front war, but emphasized that "the situation in the north must be changed. And it will change. If Hezbollah agrees to change things via diplomacy, very good. But I don't believe it will".

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Since 8 October Hezbollah and Israel have been engaged in deadly border clashes which have killed 94 Hezbollah members, as well as members of Palestinian groups, in addition to six Israeli soldiers, with dozens wounded.

Tens of thousands of Lebanese have also been internally displaced in southern Lebanon since clashes began, with Israel also evacuating towns near the Lebanese border.

The fighting, which saw Hezbollah target Israeli positions with rockets and anti-tank guided missiles, is part of Hezbollah's proclaimed strategy to keep the border between Israel and Lebanon a "front of pressure" as Israel continues its indiscriminate attacks on Gaza, which have killed at least 17,700 Palestinians.

Israeli strikes on Lebanon have killed three journalists in addition to dozens of other civilians. A Reuters investigation on the death of its own journalist Issam Abdallah found that an Israeli tank had deliberately targeted the journalist in an attack that killed him and wounded six others.

The comments from Hanegbi came following remarks by Netanyahu on Friday that the Israeli military would "turn Beirut and southern Lebanon… into Gaza and Khan Younis," following the killing of an Israeli civilian by Hezbollah.

In addition to killing tens of thousands of civilians, Israel's attacks on Gaza have also left 85 percent of Gaza's population of 2.3 million displaced.