War between Israel and Lebanon now a strong possibility

An Israeli Minister talked up war with their Lebanese neighbours as tensions since the beginning of October have boiled over, reports the National.

Senior Minister Benny Gantz warned of a war with Lebanon if a diplomatic resolution was not reached soon and commented on the situation at Israel’s northern border whilst touring the area recently. 

“The situation on Israel’s northern border demands change,” Gantz told reporters on December 27. 

The nearly three-month cross border skirmishes have resulted in the deaths of around 150 people most of which were fighters from Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah. 

The Israeli military said that nine of their soldiers were killed as well as four Israeli civilians. 

The Israeli official added, “The stopwatch for a diplomatic solution is running out, if the world and the Lebanese government don’t act to prevent the fire towards northern communities and to distance Hezbollah from the border, the (Israeli Defence Forces) will do it.” 

READ: Lebanon prepares for war with Israel as tensions grow

Far-right Israeli supremo Benjamin Netanyahu previously stated that if Hezbollah refused to retreat to the Litani River then Israel would “turn Lebanon’s south into Gaza” where nearly 22,000 have been massacred since October 7. 

Allies of Israel, notably the US and France, have tried to negotiate a deal that would lead to Hezbollah retreating north of the Litani River in exchange for territorial concessions. The militants have turned down such proposals. 

A lot of talks have surrounded the implementation of UN resolution 1701 which was key in the ceasing of the one-month 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.   

The resolution in its current form demands that Israeli forces withdraws from Lebanese territory as well as for Hezbollah to disarm. 

On December 27, Hezbollah fired the largest volume of rockets and drones into Israel since the start of the cross-border conflict which was a response to Israel’s attack on a Bint Jbeil residence that caused the death of a Hezbollah gunman and two civilians, the militant’s brother and his sister-in-law according to the militant group. 

Lebanon’s recent attack on its neighbours did not cause any casualties but were seen as a warning that Lebanon would retaliate should Israel continue to commit attacks against civilians in the country. 

Despite Lebanon being severely ill-prepared for a full blown conflict with Israel, Lebanese people are fearing the worst. 

The National

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