The Israeli Defense Minister threatens to return Lebanon to the “stone age” in the event of war with Hezbollah

The Israeli Defense Minister threatens to return Lebanon to the “stone age” in the event of war with Hezbollah

CairoIsraeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant confirmed that his country’s army is capable of causing “severe damage” to Lebanon and returning it “to the Stone Age” if an open war breaks out against the Lebanese Hezbollah, despite his insistence that Tel Aviv and Aviv prefer a diplomatic solution to resolve the tension. Gallant’s statements, which he made on Wednesday during a visit to the United States, and like other statements he has made in the past, add more fuel to the fire amid the military and rhetorical escalation taking place between the two parties in recent weeks, which is the fear that the matter will develop into an all-out conflict.

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Israel and Hezbollah have been exchanging fire almost daily since the start of the Israeli military offensive in Gaza. The exchange of fire had been relatively limited to the border for months, but tensions have escalated in recent weeks as both sides have struck deeper into the country. The Israeli military has approved operational plans to attack the neighboring country if the government orders it, and the Lebanese movement has warned that no place in Israel would be safe if war were declared.

During Gallant’s visit to the United States, who is the person closest to the Joe Biden administration in the Israeli government, Washington renewed its commitment to Israel’s security, but insisted on the need to reduce tension between the two parties. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday, after his meeting with Gallant, that they are making efforts to support de-escalation and a diplomatic resolution of hostilities, in line with what other senior positions have previously expressed.

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Despite attempts to contain the situation, the US embassy in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Thursday, urged its citizens to “reconsider” traveling to Lebanon because the security situation is “complex and can change quickly.” Multiple other countries, including Germany, Canada and Australia, have issued similar instructions in recent days, with some advising their citizens to leave Lebanon. Israel’s state auditor, in turn, informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the country is not prepared to evacuate residents of the north if war breaks out, according to local media.

Attacks in Lebanon and Syria

In this context, on Thursday, the Israeli army and Hezbollah continued to exchange attacks, including launching drones from Lebanon and Israeli air and artillery bombardment. The Israeli army also launched an airstrike on a facility allegedly linked to Hezbollah in a city south of the Syrian capital, Damascus, killing three people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In his meetings with senior US officials, Gallant, who has previously criticized Netanyahu for not having a political strategy in Gaza, addressed the possible future of governing the Gaza Strip on the day Israel stops its military aggression, although he expected it would. It will be a long and complicated process. The two sides also reviewed the purchase and shipment of American weapons to Israel.

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