Israel’s retaliatory plans against Hamas included a warning for Hezbollah from the prime minister should they decide to escalate the war.
“…the consequences for it and the Lebanese state will be devastating.”
Despite the brutality demonstrated by the terrorists who attacked Israel on Oct. 7, kidnapping, raping and ultimately slaughtering more than 1,400 people, the response has reportedly endeavored to remain within the bounds of what is considered permissible in war. With the focus on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned terrorist neighbors to the north against further inserting themselves into the conflict.
Speaking with troops Sunday stationed in northern Israel, the prime minister spoke both to the stakes of the war and how that translated for the Shia Islamist militants in Lebanon should they pose an added threat.
“I can’t tell you now if Hezbollah decides to fully enter the war. If Hezbollah decides to enter the war, it will miss the Second Lebanon War,” asserted Netanyahu as he harkened back to the 34-day fight during the summer of 2006.
עם הלוחמים שלנו בגבול הצפון.
שיהיה ברור: אם חיזבאללה יחליט להיכנס למלחמה, הוא יתגעגע למלחמת לבנון השנייה. pic.twitter.com/f16tJejTKy
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) October 22, 2023
“It will make the mistakes of its life. We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine, and the consequences for it and the Lebanese state will be devastating,” he declared according to one translation.
Earlier in his remarks, the prime minister had made clear, “We’re in a battle for our lives. A battle for our home, this is not an exaggeration, this is the war. It’s do or die — they need to die. And we are now in a double battle. One battle is a battle to hold action here and on the other side, to win there, an absolute victory that will erase Hamas.”
He added, “But we are prepared for any scenario.”
A similar sentiment had been shared by Israeli Minister of Economy Nir Barkat in an interview with the Daily Mail as he expanded that any needed retaliation against Hezbollah would include cutting off the “head of the snake” in Iran.
“The plan of Iran is to attack Israel on all fronts. If we find they intend to target Israel, we will not just retaliate on those fronts, but we will go to the head of the snake, which is Iran. The ayatollahs in Iran are not going to sleep good at night, we are going to make sure they pay a heavy price if, God forbid, they open the northern front,” asserted Barkat.
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) October 22, 2023
The minister further stated, “Lebanon and Hezbollah are going to pay a heavy price, similar to what Hamas is going to pay. But that’s not enough. The very clear message is that we are going to be going after heads of Iran as well. When will we do that? When we decide.”
As it stands, the Associated Press had reported that Hezbollah intends to escalate the fight if Israel proceeds with their plan to send ground troops into the Gaza Strip to eliminate the threat from Hamas. In the meantime, there has been ongoing exchange of fire between Israel and Lebanon and Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus had accused the militants of “escalating the situation steadily.”
“Bottom line is…Hezbollah is playing a very, very dangerous game,” he said in a video briefing. “(It is) extremely important for everybody in Lebanon to ask themselves the question of the price. Is the Lebanese state really willing to jeopardize what is left of Lebanese prosperity and Lebanese sovereignty for the sake of terrorists in Gaza?”
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