UN peacekeepers of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon stand in front of snow-covered mountains in Kfar Kila village near the Lebanese-Israeli border.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hezbollah has promised senior government officials in Beirut that it will refrain from retaliating against Israel, which it blames for last week’s attack on a convoy on the Golan Heights, from Lebanese soil.
According to a report in Saturday editions of the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anbaa’, Lebanese government sources said that the Shi’ite group was keenly aware of domestic public opinion and the rising apprehension over the prospect of Israeli reprisals similar to the devastation that was wrought during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
“Hezbollah doesn’t just have courage [in standing up to Israel] but it also has a high degree of wisdom,” a Lebanese government minister and Hezbollah member, Muhammad Fneish, is quoted as saying by Al-Anbaa’
“Whenever the response will come, Lebanon’s interest will be taken into account before anything,” the minister said.
The contents of the Al-Anbaa’
article were translated by Channel 2’s Hebrew-language news website, Mako.
The tensions in the North that have been heightened following this week’s alleged Israeli airstrike that killed senior Hezbollah officials in the Golan Heights are also being felt in Lebanon, where apprehension is growing over the specter of another cross-border war.
A Lebanese parliamentarian with the secular-Sunni Future Movement told the Elnashra news agency earlier this week that his country’s interests have been subjugated to the whims of Iran.
“Fears of war between Hezbollah and Israel exist after [Hezbollah] showed no concern [to safeguard] the Lebanese interests as it implements an Iranian agenda,” MP Ahmad Fatfat said.
The lawmaker cited remarks made by Iranian leaders vowing revenge against Israel for killing a general with the Revolutionary Guards who was riding in the convoy with Hezbollah officials.
In a show of strength, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon visited the headquarters of the IDF's Northern Command on Friday.
Ya'alon vowed that Israel will not tolerate attempts to harm it, and would respond "with force against any such attempt."
Ya'alon visited the Northern Command's headquarters in Safed and heard a security evaluation. He was joined by the Northern Command chief Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi (who was until recently commander of Military Intelligence), the head of the Operations Branch Maj.-Gen. Yoav Har Even, and other senior officers from the command.
The defense minister heard about the latest IDF preparations in the north designed to ensure maximum readiness, after an air strike on Sunday killed 12 senior Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) operatives near Quneitra, Syria.
Israeli warplanes flew a number of sorties in the skies over southern Lebanon on Saturday, according to weekend media reports north of the border.
Lebanese press reported that Israeli air force jets were also visible in the Beka’a valley.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.