Officials Say Israel Nearing Full-Scale War Against Hezbollah

by | Dec 20, 2023

Officials Say Israel Nearing Full-Scale War Against Hezbollah

by | Dec 20, 2023

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Hezbollah training

Israeli officials said Tel Aviv is moving closer to a full-scale war with Hezbollah. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Hezbollah have traded fire along the Lebanon-Israel border since October 7. 

IDF spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said Monday, “We are closer today to war [with Hezbollah] than we were yesterday. And the directive to the IDF is, of course, to enhance readiness to prepare and to be capable of defending Israeli civilians.” At a separate event, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant explained that if “restoring security in the area” could “not be implemented diplomatically, then we will not hesitate to act.”

Last week, an IDF official told Newsweek that Tel Aviv plans to remove Hezbollah from the Lebanese border. “We will not return to the situation that was on the 6th of October in the north. It means we will not allow our civilians neither in the Gaza envelope nor on the Lebanese border to be under this threat.” The official continued, “We are prepared for [war with Hezbollah]. We are on alert for that. We have the people, the personnel that is exactly ready for that, but we don’t want to do that yet.”

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah explained the paramilitary group is attacking Israel to force Tel Aviv to split its forces between Gaza, in the south, and along the Lebanese border, in the north. He said Hezbollah is not seeking a wider conflict with Israel. 

The IDF has hit several civilian targets in Lebanon. A group of easily identified journalists in southern Lebanon were attacked by an Israeli tank, leaving one dead. Tel Aviv has also deployed white phosphorus in Lebanon. The weapon is outlawed in populated areas because of the intense burns it can cause to innocent people. 

The White House is backing the Israeli proposal to have Hezbollah withdraw from the Israeli border. According to the Financial Times, “The US, the UK, and France are exploring ways to convince Hezbollah to pull back from the Lebanon-Israel border in a diplomatic push to prevent a full-blown conflict erupting between the militant group and Israel.”

Replacing Hezbollah with the Lebanese military along the border could open a window for Israel to attack southern Lebanon, as Hezbollah is a far superior fighting force.

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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