IDF approving Lebanon ‘offensive’ is step toward ‘significant escalation’ against Hezbollah, ex-official warns

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The Israel Defense Forces’ announcement that it has approved plans for an “offensive in Lebanon” is “another step towards a significant escalation” against the terrorist group Hezbollah, a former IDF spokesperson tells Fox News Digital.  

The IDF released a photo this week showing a meeting of top generals discussing war strategy, noting that “as part of the situational assessment, operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon were approved and validated, and decisions were taken on the continuation of increasing the readiness of troops in the field.” 

“What this means is another step towards a significant escalation. The IDF has been preparing troops for combat scenarios in Lebanon for months and what it means that now it has also approved plans, strategic maneuver plans, of how to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon on the ground and of course in the air,” Jonathan Conricus, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former IDF spokesman, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday. 

“What this means is that we are another step closer, and this should sound alarm bells in Beirut, in Washington, in Paris, in London and in Berlin, and of course in every other regional capital because what it means is that Israel is signaling to the world that patience is running thin and that it needs to take action in order to bring security to Israeli civilians.” 

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IDF meeting regarding Lebanon plans

The IDF said on Tuesday that “as part of the situational assessment, operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon were approved and validated, and decisions were taken on the continuation of increasing the readiness of troops in the field.” (IDF)

The IDF announcement came on the same day Hezbollah published a drone video purportedly showing aerial surveillance of Israel, including the port city of Haifa, according to Reuters. 

It also comes just days after an IDF spokesperson said, “Hezbollah’s increasing aggression is bringing us to the brink of what could be a wider escalation.” 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened war with Hezbollah for months, but there has yet to be a distinct escalation. Israeli air strikes have eliminated a number of top Hezbollah commanders, and Hezbollah has kept up its barrage of missiles and rockets. 

“We are committed to the diplomatic process, however Hezbollah’s aggression is bringing us closer to a critical point in the decision-making regarding our military activities in Lebanon,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told a visiting representative of the Biden administration on Monday. 

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Israel Lebanon Border

An Israeli firefighter walks near smoke and fire amid ongoing cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, in northern Israel, on June 12. (Reuters/Gil Eliyahu)

As the war in Gaza continues, Israeli sources have highlighted the threat that Hezbollah poses compared to Hamas. The Gaza Strip terror group has relatively few resources and has largely been dismantled by the IDF since the Oct. 7 massacre in Israel. 

Israeli artillery

Israeli soldiers fire a mobile howitzer in the north of Israel, near the border with Lebanon, on Jan. 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

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Hezbollah, however, is far more well-equipped and has more manpower. Their rockets and drone attacks have already forced over 100,000 Israelis to evacuate their homes in northern Israel. 

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.



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