Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, warned Iranian-backed Hezbollah not to get involved in the current war playing out in Gaza, or be prepared to face Israel’s wrath.
Netanyahu met with his forces on Sunday near the border with Lebanon and told his troops that Hezbollah would be making the mistake of its life, and that Lebanon would be “devastated,” according to RT, the Russian news outlet.
“We will strike it with unimaginable strength and the significance to it and to the country of Lebanon will be devastating,” Netanyahu said.
Hezbollah has warned Israel against carrying out a ground operation in Gaza and has already exchanged fire with Israel.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian foreign minister, warned Monday that Iran’s proxies in the Middle East have the ability to carry out preemptive strikes on Israel if the country continues to target Hezbollah positions in Lebanon, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Hezbollah said Israel would face an earthquake if it decided to invade Gaza.
Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser in Israel, told Bloomberg that Hezbollah has not entered the real fight because it is “aware that if a full-scale war emerges in Lebanon, it will bring devastation to the city of Beirut. Beirut will look like Gaza.”
TRENDPOST: Author Norman Finkelstein said in an interview on Monday that Hezbollah has a reported 150,000 advanced rockets pointing at Israel. So Netanyahu must know that if Israel hits the group with everything it has, Hezbollah will respond with all it has.
Haaretz reported that Hezbollah is the most heavily armed non-state actor in the world.
“The Israeli assessment of Hezbollah’s capabilities is whatever you’ve seen from Hamas, it’s tenfold that. So definitely, this will be a wider conflict. And it will see not only Hezbollah but also other actors step in,” Mohanad Hage Ali, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, told NPR.
Tamir Hayman, the former head of Israel’s military intelligence, told Foreign Policy that Hezbollah is not “actively, full-scale involved, but actively, below the threshold of war, trying to create distraction in order to relieve tensions over Gaza, using drones, exploiting the Hamas capabilities and the Palestinian capabilities to launch mortar attacks on the Iron Dome [Israel’s missile defense system].”