Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited troops serving in the Upper Galilee city of Kiryat Shmona on Monday amid shelling by Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror organization, vowing to do “whatever is necessary” to restore security to the Jewish state’s northern border.
“I chose to come to Kiryat Shmona on the day of shelling and anti-tank missiles. I very much appreciate the service you and your friends are doing here—to protect our northern borders and also to send a message to Hezbollah,” Netanyahu told soldiers serving in the border region.
“Hezbollah miscalculated us in 2006 and is making the same mistake now,” he said, referring to the Second Lebanon War, which saw hundreds of Lebanese terrorists killed by Israeli forces.
“It thought we were [weak as] spider webs—suddenly it sees what a spider we are. What it sees here is a great power, a unified people, a determination to do whatever is necessary to restore security to the north. I tell you, this is my policy,” he stated.
“We will do everything to restore security to the north and allow your families—because many of you are locals—to return home safely and let it [Hezbollah] know that we cannot be messed with,” added the premier.
While Israel prefers that a diplomatic solution to the threat posed by the Iran-backed terrorist group, the threat of escalation will not deter Jerusalem from responding to its terrorist provocations, vowed Netanyahu.
According Israel’s Channel 12 News, an anti-tank missile launched from Lebanon struck the evacuated city of Kiryat Shmona just minutes before the Israeli prime minister was set to arrive. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
In response, the Israeli Air Force conducted a series of strikes against Hezbollah sites in Lebanese territory.
Earlier on Monday, an alleged Israeli attack in Southern Lebanon killed a senior commander in Hezbollah’s elite Radwan force, Reuters reported, citing a security source.
The slain commander “had a leading role in managing Hezbollah’s operations in the south,” another security official told AFP, adding that he “was killed in an Israeli raid targeting his car in the south.”
The Iranian terror proxy has been testing the waters, initiating a series of fire exchanges at the border as the Jewish state fights Hamas in Gaza. Since Oct. 7, five Israeli civilians and nine military personnel have been killed on the northern border. Hezbollah has lost more than 130 fighters.
On Saturday, the Shi’ite terrorist group fired some 40 rockets into Israel in an “initial response” to last week’s assassination of Hamas terror chief Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut.
The salvo triggered rocket alert sirens in 90 communities across northern Israel, although the military said that only the Mount Meron area was targeted.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published on Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that while Israel is not seeking a war with Hezbollah, “80,000 people need to be able to go back to their homes safely,” and so if all else fails, “we are willing to sacrifice.”
“They see what is happening in Gaza,” Gallant warned, adding: “They know we can copy-paste to Beirut.”