Eiland: Israel does not know how to defeat Hizbullah

Former national security adviser says Israel must make clear that a war with Hizbullah would "wreak destruction on Lebanon."

aluf giora eiland 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
aluf giora eiland 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
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.
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"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.
Earlier on Thursday, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that recent warnings made by Israeli officials that Lebanon would be dealt a heavy blow if Hizbullah attacks Israel do not scare the Shi'ite organization and will not cause it to change its goals, reported Israel Radio.
During a speech to mark the Shi'ite Muslim Ashoura festival, Nasrallah said that gone are days in which Israel threatened or intimidated his organization. He added that Israel has been waging a psychological war that has failed, and that Hizbullah is better today than it was in the past.
Commenting on the international tribunal investigating the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, Nasrallah again blamed Israel and the US for conspiring to divide, and stir tensions between, Shi'ites and Sunnis.
He stressed that Hizbullah rejects any attempt to blame it for Hariri's murder and promised that the organization would defend its honor.