Israel plans ground invasion of Lebanon: Report

The Israeli army is allegedly drawing up plans for an invasion of South Lebanon, risking a complete cross-border war amid calls for restraint by Western allies, The Times reported on 18 December.  

Israel’s army says it wants to drive Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance force to the north of the Litani River.  

The British daily writes that the Israeli army fears a potential 7 October-like attack by Hezbollah, given their “much greater strength compared with Hamas.” 

“What happened in the South is nothing compared to what they could do here,” a senior officer said. “Israeli doctrine is to take the war to the other side.” 

Hezbollah’s retaliation against Israel on settlements near the border area with Lebanon has led to the evacuation of tens of thousands of settlers, many of whom will not return after the war is over.  

“We are under fire daily, and we continue to record injuries daily. Yesterday, a soldier in the reserve brigade was killed; we are recording injuries and fatalities daily,” the mayor of the Kiryat Shmona settlement, Avichai Stern, said to Channel 13.  

Speaking with the Israeli channel TOV, Israeli reserve general, Yitzhak Brick warned that Israel is not prepared for such a war; it did not make the proper preparations nor prepare a stockpile of weapons and ammunition.  

Brick adds that cuts have been made to the size of the Israeli army, so much so that it is unable to fight on several fronts simultaneously. “Until we reach the required capabilities – there is nothing to enter into Lebanon,” the reserve general said.

“Hezbollah today is equipped with 150,000 rockets and missile shells, and the main problem is that some of [these are] precise and heavy, weighing hundreds of kilograms,” Brick warned, adding that Hezbollah “can hit targets such as power [plants], water [facilities], air force bases, and disrupt road traffic and [displace] the population.” 

However, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has recently made threats to Hezbollah, saying, “If Hezbollah wants to go up a level, we’ll go up five.”

The Israeli army has been ‘poking the bear’ by going beyond attacking Hezbollah posts, launching attacks against the Lebanese civilian population, a move that Hezbollah does not take lightly, warning in an official statement: “The Resistance affirms that any harm to civilians will be met in equal measure.” 

“What is happening on our front is extremely important and influential,” Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said in a recent speech. “It will not remain restricted for too long […] All options on the Lebanese front are open. All choices are on the table, and we may decide at any moment.” 

Lebanese Parliament Speaker and Head of the Amal Movement, Nabih Berri, had – in a similar fashion to Nasrallah – also warned Israel that Lebanon is ready if Israel chooses to expand the ongoing conflict with Hezbollah.  

Lebanon and Israel have historic tensions, with the Lebanese seeing Israel, in the words of Amal founder, Shia Muslim cleric and politician, Musa Sadr, as “an ultimate evil.” 

Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel have been given a similar status to those of the Vietnamese on the US, having forced the Israeli army to retreat in 2000 in a similar fashion to the US retreat from Vietnam in the 1970s.

Speaking in 2006, the testimonies of Israeli army personnel show that Hezbollah’s fighting power bewildered Israeli forces.  

“They’re good on their own ground,” Israeli army testimonies read. One of the generals of the Israeli army said that years of fighting against Palestinian guerrilla fighters eroded the army’s conventional warfare proficiency.  

“It’s one thing to give the troops maps, target lists, etc. It’s another thing to be trained for the mission—they weren’t trained,” the general said.  

Source: The Cradle

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