Israel’s 2009 offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, will pale in comparison
to what will happen to Lebanon in a future war with Hezbollah, a senior IDF
officer in the Northern Command said on Thursday.
“The destruction will
be greater in Lebanon than in Israel and the amount of explosives which will
fall there will be far more than what will fall here... We will need to be
strong and aggressive,” the officer said.
Brig.-Gen. Herzi Halevy,
commander of Division 91, clarified the remark and told reporters that the
destruction will be widespread due to Hezbollah’s decision to establish its
command posts and bases inside villages and towns throughout
Halevy, who headed the Paratroop Brigade during Operation Cast
Lead in 2009, said Israel would take immediate action – from the air and on the
ground – in a future war that would cause “extensive damage, not as a punishment
but rather to hit the enemy where it is.”
“The damage will be far greater
[in Lebanon] than the Second Lebanon War,” he added.
“The past six years
have been the quietest along the border in more than 40 years,” Halevy said in a
briefing marking six years since the Second Lebanon War.
understand that there is more than one catalyst that can potentially break the
Halevy said that an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities – no
matter by whom – or the ongoing uprising in Syria could spark a conflict between
Israel and Hezbollah. In addition, increased tension between the IDF and the
Lebanese Armed Forces could lead to a bigger conflict.
Last week, for
example, a small force of soldiers from the Paratroop Brigade were patrolling
the border when they spotted Lebanese troops standing 20 meters away and aiming
their weapons –including a rocket-propelled grenade – at them. One of the
Israeli soldiers, who speaks Arabic, heard the Lebanese commander dividing up
targets for his men. The Israeli soldiers called in a backup force that quickly
arrived at the scene, leading the Lebanese to withdraw.
“These type of
incidents have the ability to turn into something larger,” a senior officer
The IDF has spent the past year upgrading its defenses along the
border. A few weeks ago, it completed the construction of a concrete wall
between the Israeli border town of Metulla and the Lebanese town of Kafr Kila.
The army decided to build a wall along that section of the frontier to minimize
friction between the sides.
Since the war in 2006, in addition to
Hezbollah’s extensive rearmament and procurement of tens of thousands of rockets
and missiles, the IDF has detected a concerted effort by the guerrilla group to
gather intelligence on Israeli military positions along the border.
army released photos on Thursday showing Hezbollah operatives with surveillance
gear along the border filming IDF movements and deployments.
In a film
recently captured by the IDF, two cars are shown arriving near the Lebanese side
of the border. Men wearing hooded sweatshirts are seen exiting the cars and
surveying the border. One of them is holding papers. IDF assessments are that
the group was possibly planning an attack against Israel along the
“They brings operatives from northern Lebanon to teach them about
the south and the terrain where they will be expected to operate in a future
war,” another officer in the Northern Command said.