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January 28, 2016 11:15 am

Former IDF-General: Israel’s Next Northern War Will Be With Lebanon, Not Just Hezbollah

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The Israel-Lebanon border. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Israel-Lebanon border. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

“The next war in the North will have to be against Lebanon because Hezbollah is a part of the Lebanese system,” Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland told Walla News on Wednesday.

Eiland, former head of the IDF Planning Directorate and National Security Council, was responding to IDF assessments earlier this week which said that although the chances for armed conflict with Hezbollah at the moment are very low, if a confrontation were to occur, it would be very severe.

Eiland agreed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Hezbollah was wrapped up in the Syrian civil war, where most of its attention was being directed.

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“But since the Second Lebanon War,” he said, referring to the 2006 conflict, “[Hezbollah] has grown and not just in size but in its publicity capabilities, concealment, precision capabilities, its power — and that’s the real issue for Israel. Israel’s biggest mistake concerning Hezbollah is its faulty strategy.”

Eiland insisted that the next northern conflict must be directed against Lebanon entirely, not just Hezbollah. Otherwise, he said according to Walla, “The results of the third Lebanese war will be devastating. A war declared between Israel and Lebanon, where Hezbollah is indeed a part of the national political infrastructure, will cause great damage to Lebanon, which nobody’s interested in — not Lebanon, not the US, not Europe, Syria or Iran.”

“So the right way is to make the whole world declare a ceasefire after three days. That needs to be the policy of the day,” he said.

According to Walla, the IDF said on Tuesday it expected the consequences of armed conflict with Hezbollah to be grave: downed Israeli jets, captured Israeli soldiers, Ben-Gurion International Airport will be closed and the war will not be concluded after just a few days.

At the same time, Hezbollah posts and weapons depots scattered throughout up to hundreds of Shiite villages in southern Lebanon will quickly become IDF targets, leading to “many refugees.”

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