The likelihood that Israel will be drawn into a war in Lebanon is growing, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said Wednesday, hours after Hamas terrorists fired a barrage of rockets at a northern Israel town.
With visiting troops drilling for a simulated offensive inside Lebanon, as the army winds down its most intense stages of fighting in Gaza, Halevi said Israel was “increasing readiness for fighting in Lebanon,” as it seeks to stabilize its northern border and allow tens of thousands of Israelis evacuated from the region to return home.
The IDF has “a very clear goal in Lebanon — to return the residents to the north, all the communities in the north,” Halevi said.
“I don’t know when the war in the north is,” he added. “I can tell you that the likelihood of it happening in the coming months is much higher than it was in the past.”
He added that Israel would apply lessons it had learned from fighting in Gaza, should it embark on a campaign to push the Hezbollah terror group and others threatening Israel away from the border.
Wednesday saw fresh bouts of cross-border fire, including a volley of some 20 rockets fired at the seaside border village of Rosh Hanikra in the afternoon, ending a rare period of some 24 hours in which no rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza, Lebanon or elsewhere.
No damage resulted from the rocket fire, with projectiles either being intercepted or falling in open areas. The attack was claimed by Hamas, which maintains a presence in Lebanon under Hezbollah protection.