Defense Minister Benny Gantz spoke about the ongoing threats posed by Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon in a Tuesday visit to the IDF's 91st Division located in Northern Israel.“I’ve completed a situational assessment in a division protecting what is currently Israel’s most sensitive border," Gantz said at the meeting in which a number of high-ranking government ministers received the assessment from senior IDF staff in the Northern Command.Joining the meeting was Head of Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate Maj.-Gen. Tal Kelman, and Minister of Civil and Social Affairs in the Defense Ministry, Michael Biton. Among the topics of discussion were the threats being posed by Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies that have stationed themselves along Israel's borders with Lebanon and Syria. Regarding the consequences of a clash with Hezbollah, Gantz said that "If Nasrallah and Hezbollah’s threats become actions, the outcome will be painful for Hezbollah and its leaders. And unfortunately for the Lebanese people, who are being used as human shields by Nasrallah - who is hiding weapons and missiles beneath their homes.” Last week, Gantz made similar comments during a speech commemorating soldiers whose burial place is unknown.If Israel has to fight with Hezbollah, “the ground in Lebanon will tremble, and the terrorist organization will be severely hit,” he said.
Gantz’s comments came as IDF intelligence assessed in its annual prediction of 2021 that Hezbollah is deterred and will not drag Israel into a war, but it will try to initiate “days of battle” in which the combat will be limited.
According to this assessment, Hezbollah is exercising its idea of “the equation,” whereby it must avenge the killing of its members even if it takes months or years.Udi Shaham contributed to this report.