Hizbol­lah and the IDF ex­change threats

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BY YAAKOV KATZ JERUSALEM

IS­RAEL AND Hizbol­lah ex­changed threats this week as the head of the IDF’s North­ern Com­mand said that the mil­i­tary would use “dis­pro­por­tion­ate force” in any new round of vi­o­lence with the Le­banese group.

In 2006, Is­rael fought a month-long in­con­clu­sive war against Hizbol­lah fol­low­ing the cap­ture of two IDF re­servists whose bodies were re­turned to Is­rael two months ago. Since the war, Is­rael claims that the Iran-backed group has amassed close to 40,000 mis­siles and rock­ets. Most of the weaponry is be­lieved to be smug­gled into Le­banon from Syria.

In an in­ter­view with Ye­diot Ahronot, Maj-Gen Gadi Eizenkot, mil­i­tary com­man­der along Is­rael’s north­ern bor­der, said that the IDF had for­mu­lated a new plan to bom­bard vil­lages used to launch mis­sile at­tacks against Is­rael.

“What hap­pened in the Dahiya neigh­bour­hood [a bombed Hizbol­lah strong­hold] in Beirut in 2006 will hap­pen in ev­ery vil­lage where rock­ets are launched from into Is­rael,” Mr Ei- zenkot said. “We will use dis­pro­por­tion­ate force and cause great dam­age since in our opin­ion th­ese are not civil­ian vil­lages but are mil­i­tary bases.”

In ad­di­tion, Is­rael is also threat­en­ing to strike at Le­banese gov­ern­ment tar­gets in a fu­ture war with Hizbol­lah in light of Beirut’s de­ci­sion to in­clude the guer­rilla group’s right of “re­sis­tance” to “lib­er­ate Le­banese ter­ri­to­ries” in its list of gov­ern­ing prin­ci­ples. Hizbol­lah is part of the Le­banese gov­ern­ment.

While a United Na­tions-bro­kered cease­fire has held up, the IDF be­lieves that Hizbol­lah is plan­ning at­tacks in the fu­ture, par­tic­u­larly to avenge the as­sas­si­na­tion of its mil­i­tary com­man­der in Da­m­as­cus ear­lier this year.

In an in­ter­view with a Gulf news­pa­per, Sheikh Na­bil Kaouk, com­man­der of Hizbol­lah in south­ern Le­banon, said that Is­rael was in­ca­pable of launch­ing a new war against the group.

“The re­sis­tance is com­pletely ready and Is­rael’s threats do not scare [us],” Mr Kaouk told the Al-Hi­laj news­pa­per. “This pa­per tiger state will col­lapse at the hands of re­sis­tance fight­ers.”

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