Israel does not know how to defeat Hizbullah and would suffer heavy damage to its homefront in a head-to-head confrontation with the Shi'ite organization, a national security adviser to former prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying by Reuters on Thursday.
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, who chaired Israel’s National Security Council from 2004 to 2006 and prior to that served as head of the IDF’s Operations Branch and its Planning Directorate, said that "a war waged only as Israel-versus-Hizbullah might yield better damage on Hizbullah, but Hizbullah would inflict far worse damage on the Israeli homefront than it did 4-1/2 years ago." Eiland referred to the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
"Our only way of preventing the next war, and of winning if it happens anyway, is for it to be clear to everyone ... that another war between us and Hizbullah will be a war between Israel and the state of Lebanon and will wreak destruction on the state of Lebanon," Eiland stated. "And as no one -- including Hizbullah, the Syrians or the Iranians -- is interested in this, this is the best way of creating effective deterrence," he added.