IDF intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva has struck back verbally at Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, dictating to him that Israel will enforce quiet on the northern border, despite the terror groups’ provocations.
Speaking late Wednesday night at the intelligence officers’ graduation ceremony, Haliva said, “Hezbollah and the one who leads it, also during this time period, are manufacturing provocations. The intelligence branch is following this and is attentive to their plots.”
“We are alert, determined and strong. No one should misjudge us: we will do all that is required in order to maintain quiet on the northern border, just like all of the other borders. This is how we conducted ourselves in the past and this is how we will act in the future,” said the military intelligence chief.
Continuing, he stated, “The Second Lebanon War, as well as the other recent operations in Gaza and Jenin, proved for us once again the crucial role of intelligence from the decision makers to the fighters on the operation’s frontlines.”
“Our service puts us in a dangerous spot. There is nothing more important and nothing more difficult. It requires audacity, a strong will, a fighting spirit and devotion,” he said.
Avoiding another war
Further, he explained, “It is incumbent upon you, the intelligence officers, to accomplish the crucial and decisive mission of providing intelligence and to do everything to support and aid our warriors on the frontlines, the navy, the air force and the ground forces, and anyone who is sent by the State of Israel and by the IDF to be the first line of defense, in order to be victorious, even at the cost of their lives.”
Haliva recalled that it has been 17 years since the Second Lebanon War broke out, noting that it “contributed to strengthening Israeli deterrence.”
Due to that deterrence, he said that the northern border area “is thriving and flourishing.”
“In contrast, we look at the country of Lebanon on the other side of the border, entrapped as a prisoner of Hezbollah, on behalf of Iran. There, we see a drastic economic crisis, suffering, poverty and danger. All of this comes from the influence of the Hezbollah organization, to whom the Lebanese people have been forced against their will to entrust with their future,” said Haliva.
Addressing Lebanon itself, he stated, “People of Lebanon, try to imagine, how would life look in Lebanon without Hezbollah and without the destructive influence of Iran. In place of that there would be peace between the State of Lebanon and the State of Israel. Imagine a Lebanon which would be blossoming, flourishing, and developing.”
Also late Wednesday night, Nasrallah threatened Israel about any use of force it may engage in against a recently erected tent by less than 10 of his men a small number of meters into Israeli territory in the isolated Mount Dov enclave.
There has been increasing friction between Hezbollah and the IDF in low-grade incidents on the border without anyone dying on either side.
Haliva seemed to be both issuing his own counter-warning to Nasrallah, while using language couched in terms of maintaining quiet to make it clear that the IDF wants to remove the outpost, but without a large escalation.
In contrast, in a speech in May, Haliva had taken a more threatening tone with Nasrallah, following a Hezbollah terror operation in the Israeli Galilee at Megiddo.
The Jerusalem Post has learned that to date, the side of the IDF which wants to wait longer to use force to remove the outpost has won out over the side of the IDF that believes the outpost should have been removed by force weeks ago.
Moving on to what makes a strong IDF intelligence officer, Haliva said, “The quality of the intelligence branch rests first and foremost on the quality of its members. People come before the technology! In order to continue to fulfill the goals of military intelligence successfully, we are required to have stellar people and commanders.”
“An excellent intelligence officer will not hesitate to put forth his professional opinion, even if it is critical and not the conventional wisdom. And he is obligated to do this at all times, before every rank and level, with no deviation nor any fear,” he declared.
Speaking adamantly, he said, “They must not hesitate to ask questions and must not worry about injecting doubt [into a discussion.] Intelligence officers who are creative, have strong-values, are responsible, attentive, modest and who love their fellow human beings, continue at all times to learn and to analyze.”