update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu: Israel ready for ‘intense action in the north’

The PM pledged the restoration of security during a visit to Kiryat Shmona.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a lookout point in Kiryat Shmona, June 5, 2024. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a lookout point in Kiryat Shmona, June 5, 2024. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.

Israel is “prepared for very intense action in the north” to restore security, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, speaking during a visit to Kiryat Shmona near the Lebanese border.

“We said, at the start of the war that we would restore security in both the south and the north, and this is what we are doing,” the premier said at a lookout point in the city after earlier being briefed by commanders at the IDF’s Gibor base.

“Today, I am on the northern border with our heroic fighters and commanders, and with our firefighters. Yesterday, the ground burned here and I am pleased that you have extinguished it, but ground also burned in Lebanon,” Netanyahu continued, referring to fires that broke out in recent days in the north as a result of Hezbollah attacks.

“Whoever thinks he can hurt us and we will respond by sitting on our hands is making a big mistake. We are prepared for very intense action in the north. One way or another, we will restore security to the north,” he said.

The prime minister was accompanied by his chief of staff, Tzachi Braverman and his military secretary, Maj.-Gen. Roman Gofman.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visited the northern frontier on Tuesday for a situational assessment with commanders.

“Minister Gallant and the commanders discussed IDF operational and intelligence efforts in the face of Hezbollah’s aggression, ongoing efforts to thwart Hezbollah terrorists and the forces’ readiness for operations against Hezbollah,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that Gallant was also briefed on firefighting efforts in the area.

Commanders brief Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in northern Israel, June 4, 2024. Photo by Ariel Hermoni/IMoD.

Israel is preparing to launch a large-scale attack against Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon, Channel 12 security and military correspondent Nir Dvori wrote in an article published on Wednesday.

The past eight months of fighting in the north has been “below the threshold of war,” he added.

The IDF is prepared for an all-out campaign, but also for a more limited attack that would remain below the war threshold but risk a sudden and rapid escalation.

Hezbollah has been engaging in continuous attacks on northern Israel since joining the war on Oct. 8 in support of Hamas. Last month, the IDF raised its response to the attacks to include attacks deep inside Lebanon, destroying terrorist infrastructure and killing terrorists.

The Americans have been undertaking a “feverish” effort behind the scenes to prevent an escalation, and despite the increasingly militant rhetoric from the Israeli side, behind the scenes there is almost complete agreement on the Israeli desire for an arrangement that will calm things down on the Lebanese front, Dvori wrote.

“The northern front is directly related to what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the continuation of the fighting there, which may be stopped following a new kidnapping deal,” he continued. “If, in the end, a new deal is launched, Israel recognizes that this will be an opportunity to lead the political process vis-à-vis Lebanon, thereby preventing escalation and bringing about a political settlement.”

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