BEIRUT: The Israeli army said that it is preparing for the possibility of another war with Lebanon, one which it expects to be much more destructive than the 2006 conflict, according to Israeli media.
“The [Israeli army] is preparing seriously and professionally for another Lebanon war. The response will need to be sharper, harder, and in some ways very violent,” said Brigadier-General Hertzi Halevy in comments published Thursday by Haaretz newspaper.
Should another war erupt, Israel will “strike with full force,” Halevy was quoted as saying by YNet, adding that attacking civilian bases would be necessary because that was where Hezbollah placed its bases.
“We will have to go inside [Lebanon] and wreak havoc – not as punishment, but because that is where the enemy is,” he was quoted as saying.
He warned that the conflict would hurt Lebanon significantly more than the July 2006 war, which lasted just over a month. The briefing at which Halevy made his comments was held to mark the six-year anniversary of that conflict.
“A third conflict will see Lebanon suffer more than it did during the second one. We will give the Lebanese Army the chance not to be ‘the enemy’; but any attack will be met with an offensive, and they will be easier to handle than Hezbollah,” Halevy said, according to YNet.
Halevy cited developments in Syria and a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facility as factors which could potentially lead to conflict.
The Israeli Army recently said it had detected a Hezbollah tactical post in the Lebanese border village of Kfar Kila, across from Israel’s settlement of Metula, where Israel recently completed construction of a kilometer-long wall.
An unidentified Israeli army official was quoted in Israeli press saying the likely outcome of a conflict with Lebanon would make the Goldstone Report, written following Israel’s 2009 offensive on the Gaza Strip “pale in comparison.”
“The Goldstone report will pale in comparison to what will be here next time. There is no choice but to fight against the enemy where he is, and that is in the heart of a populated area,” the officer said.