The deputy chief of staff of the Israeli military warned that Hezbollah poses an “unprecedented” threat to Israel, and that any future war with the Iran-backed terrorist group will be “devastating,” the Associated Press reported last week.
“In any future crisis, they are not going to see a small war in Lebanon,” Maj. Gen. Yair Golan said of Hezbollah, which according to Israeli estimates has stockpiled over 100,000 missiles. “It’s going to be decisive. It’s going to be full-scale war.” He observed that Hezbollah’s tactic of embedding its military assets in civilian areas means that a future conflict “could create devastating damage to Lebanon.”
“There is no other way to take out this threat without … creating large damage to the Lebanese infrastructure, to Lebanese houses and other civilian facilities,” Golan added.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said in February that the terror group’s missiles were capable of causing damage in Israel equivalent to a nuclear bomb detonation, killing tens of thousands, by targeting ammonia storage tanks located in Haifa.
During a meeting with Nasrallah in August, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif boasted that the nuclear deal presented “a historic opportunity” to confront Israel. Before the deal was completed, former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, an ally of current president Hassan Rouhani, said that Israel feared the agreement because it would strengthen Iran. He added that one day Israel would be “wiped off the map.”
An Israeli defense official told The New York Times last May that the buildup of Hezbollah’s terror infrastructure in southern Lebanese villages meant that “civilians are living in a military compound” and that their lives were at risk. A few days later, a newspaper linked to Hezbollah confirmed the Israeli assessment.
Two years ago it was reported that Hezbollah exploited civilians by offering reduced price housing to Shiite families who allowed the terrorist group to hide rocket launchers in their homes.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which was passed unanimously to end the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, forbids the transfer of weaponry to Hezbollah. However, Iran has continued to arm Hezbollah and the Security Council has refused to act to enforce the resolution.
[Photo: Gefen Reznik / Israel Army Spokesperson ]