'Incredible damage' in war on Hizbullah, Israeli general warns


A SENIOR Israeli general has warned of devastating consequences if another war breaks out between Israel and the Shia Hizbullah group in Lebanon.

Speaking ahead of next week’s sixth anniversary of the second Lebanon war, Brig Gen Herzi Halevi, the commander of the Israeli army’s Galilee division, warned that a future conflict with Hizbullah would involve a large Israeli ground operation and “incredible damage” to Beirut and towns and villages in southern Lebanon.

“We will fight in a very aggressive way. Any village from which rockets are fired will be destroyed,” Brig Gen Halevi warned. “The Israel Defence Forces need to strike where the enemy is situated, and Hizbullah chose to hide in the heart of the civilian population, so that this would not be punitive destruction. But it will cause enormous damage to Lebanon; far more than the second Lebanon war.”

He admitted that despite the turmoil in the region, the Israeli-Lebanon border remains relatively stable, and the six years since the last Lebanon war have been “the quietest in Lebanon’s history”. However, Israel is concerned over Hizbullah’s grip on power, combined with ongoing instability in Syria and the possibility Hizbullah may drag Lebanon into a confrontation between Israel and Iran.

The commander said the army was ready for any scenario on the northern border, including a war against Hizbullah and, if necessary, the Lebanese army.

The military’s assessment is that in the event of a renewed conflict, the impact on Israel’s home front will be more damaging than in any of Israel’s previous wars. It is believed Hizbullah now has 60,000 projectiles aimed at northern and central Israel.

“The next war will be different. We’ll have to attack with more force, more violently, to halt any assault of the home front as quickly as possible.”