update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu: ‘We will cripple Hezbollah, if it attacks’

The prime minister visited the IDF's Commando Brigade in the north.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits soldiers of the 89th "Oz" Brigade in northern Israel, Oct. 22, 2023. Photo by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits soldiers of the 89th "Oz" Brigade in northern Israel, Oct. 22, 2023. Photo by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu visited fighters of the 89th “Oz” Brigade, aka the “Commando Brigade,” which is dedicated entirely to special operations, in the north of the country on Sunday.

“If Hezbollah decides to enter the war, it will miss the Second Lebanon War,” Netanyahu told the troops, suggesting that the drubbing Hezbollah would take would make the defeat it suffered in the 2006 campaign pale in comparison.

“It will make the mistake of its life. We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine and the meaning for it and the Lebanese state would be devastating,” he added.

Netanyahu received an overview from the commander of the brigade, Col. Omer Cohen, and the commander of the Maglan Unit, which specializes in operating behind enemy lines and deep in enemy territory using advanced technologies and weaponry.

Cohen and his men presented the prime minister with an overview of the brigade’s military preparedness in all sectors and operational activities its fighters are carrying out in the south, north and Judea and Samaria.

“What you are doing here and what I just heard from your commanders is an extremely important thing,” Netanyahu said. “You are killing Hezbollah men who are trying to attack our front line. I cannot tell you right now if Hezbollah will decide to fully enter the war.”

Video by Roi Avraham/Sound by Ben Peretz/GPO.

The prime minister described Israel as in a “double battle,” to block Hezbollah in the north and to “win an overwhelming victory … that wipes out Hamas. For this purpose, you are currently holding the line here, and your friends there are also prepared for any mission in the south. You are prepared here and prepared there.”

Speaking of the brigade’s efforts to repel the attack on Oct. 7, Netanyahu said, “You fought with supreme bravery in Gaza. The stories are inspiring. I know you lost friends. It is a very, very difficult thing, but we are in a battle for life, a battle for the home.

“You showed bravery, fighting spirit, determination. And with this spirit we will win a complete and complete victory. I want to salute you. You are heroes. You are lions. You fought like lions and you will fight like lions. The entire nation of Israel stands behind you. The entire nation of Israel salutes you,” the prime minister said.

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