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Israel on the brink of full war on northern border

Hezbollah's attacks are escalating, sparking massive fires and increasing the likelihood of full war on the Lebanese border.
TJI Wrap
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IDF says six reservists injured after Hezbollah strikes near Kiryat Shmona

An Israeli first response unit member crosses a road next to a fire that broke out following strikes by Hezbollah from Lebanon near Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, on June 4. (EPA/ATEF SAFADI)

Published: 6 June 2024

Last updated: 6 June 2024

The Israeli government is under increased pressure to launch a full attack on Hezbollah forces in Lebanon in response to increasing rocket barrages from the terror group in Israel’s north.

This week, Hezbollah rockets sparked mass fires which emergency services struggled to control and 12 people were wounded from a drone strike in the northern Israeli town of Hurfeish in the western Galilee.

The weekend attacks reached as far as Acre, forcing 50,000 residents into shelters. 

Israeli army chief Herzl Halevi said on Tuesday that the country is approaching "the point where a decision will have to be made," and that the IDF is ready to transition to an offensive in Lebanon.

His statements align with the position presented by the IDF in recent security discussions, which advocate for intensifying combat against Hezbollah.

The IDF has presented options for a limited-time war in southern Lebanon only, but also for a broader war, which is highly likely to open additional fronts with Iran, Houthi rebels in Yemen, and militias in Syria.

Experts have warned that escalation on the northern border would cause significant damage in Israel, as far as Tel Aviv.

"In the event that an all-out war breaks out, the Israeli front will absorb a volume of fire [that] has not ever been seen – including what was seen in 2006," researcher Tal Beeri told Maariv. 

Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, known for its close ties to Hezbollah, reported on Tuesday that Beirut had recently received diplomatic messages containing threats of an impending Israeli attack.

Sources told the newspaper that most representatives from international delegations expressed concern over the severity of the Israeli threat. However, the most significant messages came from the British side, which estimated that Israel would attack in mid-June. The British also advised Lebanon to prepare for war, the duration and scope of which remain unknown.

The war cabinet met on Tuesday night to discuss the latest developments along the border with Lebanon, amid criticism of the government for failing to bring security to the region after long months of conflict.

Opposition lawmakers panned the government for failing to control what has been an escalating border conflict with the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group, while far-right ministers declared it was time to go to war in Lebanon.

Since October 8, Hezbollah-led forces have attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis. So far, the skirmishes on the border have resulted in 10 civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of 14 IDF soldiers and reservists.

Many far north residents have been evacuated for months and have little prospect of returning home.

Israel’s raids in response have caused more than 420 deaths on the Lebanese side, including approximately 330 Hezbollah personnel.

Until now, the Israeli government has sought to avoid war in the north, concentrating its efforts on fighting Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Lebanon and Gaza fronts are intertwined, as Hezbollah says it will keep shelling as long as Israel’s war on Hamas continues. Both groups are allies of Iran.


‘A nightmare’: North cries out for action amid widespread fires sparked by Hezbollah (Times of Israel)

Report: Hezbollah warned ahead of 'mid-June' Israeli onslaught (Israel HaYom)

Twelve wounded, one critically, by Hezbollah drone strike in northern Israel (Haaretz)

Israeli Army wants to intensify Lebanon fighting, fears public unaware of consequences (Haaretz)

Invading the North and rockets to Tel Aviv: What war with Hezbollah would look like (Jerusalem Post)

IDF chief: Israel nearing decision on whether to launch war against Hezbollah (Times of Israel)

The north has become Israel's main front (Ynet)

Sirens or school bells: Evacuated northern students don’t know where they’ll be next fall (Times of Israel)


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