If the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group chooses to launch an all-out war against the Jewish state, it will be responsible for “turning Beirut and Southern Lebanon into Gaza and Khan Yunis,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.
“We are determined to bring victory, and we will do it with your help,” Netanyahu told troops following a situational assessment at the Israel Defense Forces’ Northern Command headquarters in Safed.
Netanyahu toured the northern frontier shortly before sunset ushered in the first night of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights that commemorates the revolt against the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire that culminated in a military victory and the rededication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
“During battle, this candle still spreads light, also for the mourning of our heroic fallen sons and daughters, for the hostages yet to be freed—we will return them—and also for the wounded who are suffering and the citizens who fell in heroic battles,” the premier told troops.
Netanyahu hailed the soldiers’ “great spirit of willingness to fight” and “restore security—not only to the south but also to the north.”
“I also suggest to our enemies that they pay attention to this spirit, because if Hezbollah chooses to start an all-out war, then it will be responsible for turning Beirut and Southern Lebanon, not far from here, into Gaza and Khan Yunis,” he warned.
Hezbollah has been testing the waters in recent weeks, initiating a series of fire exchanges as the Jewish state fights Hamas terrorists to the south. Since Oct. 7, four Israeli civilians and six IDF soldiers have been killed in attacks near the northern border.
On Thursday, an Israeli civilian was killed when an anti-tank missile launched from Lebanon hit a vehicle near the Upper Galilee community of Mattat.
The slain Israeli was named on Thursday night as Eyal Uzan, a 54-year-old farmer from Kibbutz Gesher Haziv near Nahariya.
The IDF responded by attacking Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon with helicopters gunships, tanks and artillery.