The Israel Defense Force (IDF) is concerned that Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terrorist group from Lebanon, will launch a separate wave of attacks against Israel and present a deadlier threat than Hamas.
The IDF launched a sweeping counteroffensive in the Gaza Strip after Hamas, a Palestinian terror group, killed over 1,200 Israelis and kidnapped hundreds more starting on Saturday. The IDF now fears that Hezbollah, which has far greater military capability than Hamas, could launch a wave of attacks against Israel and fire missiles directly into Tel Aviv, creating further strain on the Israeli people and military resources., according to The Wall Street Journal. (RELATED: At Least 25 Americans Dead Following Hamas Attack On Israel)
“Hezbollah is a different story [than Hamas],” Yoel Guzansky, senior researcher at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, told the WSJ. “Buildings in Tel Aviv will fall. Hundreds of people will die in Tel Aviv. They have many more capabilities than Hamas.”
ממשיכים בכל העוצמה pic.twitter.com/2ZTfc2zlin
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) October 10, 2023
Hezbollah officials told Israel that it would attack if the country launched a ground assault in Gaza, according to the WSJ. The U.S. has warned Hezbollah and Iran not to get involved in the conflict, and Israel’s defense minister previously said that the country would send Lebanon back “to the stone age” if the terrorist group attacked.
“Do not make a mistake,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in northern Israel on Tuesday, according to the WSJ. “If, God forbid, an escalation or confrontation erupts here, we will return Lebanon to the Stone Age.”
“We’re on the sword’s edge,” a former Israeli defense official told the WSJ. “Brinkmanship is a dangerous way of life.”
On Wednesday, IDF sounded the alarm after receiving reports that Hezbollah fighters were flying on paragliders over the border and launching a massive attack. Israeli residents in the north region were told to barricade inside and gunfire echoed near the border as IDF scrambled to deter a potential threat.
It was later discovered that the reports were false, though the IDF continues to fight back against infrequent missile strikes and gunfire from Hezbollah that began on Saturday. IDF soldiers are spread across the northern border of Lebanon and remain on high alert for a mass attack, and residents in the region remain fearful of a potential catastrophe.
“Something bigger is expected to come,” Gilad Samipur, a resident in the northern community of Shomera, told the WSJ.
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