Herzi Halevi IDF
© Israel Defense ForcesIDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi (center) meets troops during a drill in northern Israel, January 17, 2024. Visiting north, Halevi says lessons from fighting in Gaza will be applied to fight against Hezbollah and its allies, as Hamas rocket barrage from Lebanon targets Rosh Hanikra.
The likelihood that Israel will be drawn into a war in Lebanon is growing, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said Wednesday, hours after Hamas terrorists fired a barrage of rockets at a northern Israel town.

With visiting troops drilling for a simulated offensive inside Lebanon, as the army winds down its most intense stages of fighting in Gaza, Halevi said Israel was "increasing readiness for fighting in Lebanon," as it seeks to stabilize its northern border and allow tens of thousands of Israelis evacuated from the region to return home.

Comment: Indeed, prompting some analysts to speculate that they may have excelled themselves with regards to crimes against humanity, but they made little headway against Hamas: Israel withdraws troop division from Gaza for 'R&R, training', US prepares to send 1,500 troops to Syria, Iraq

The IDF has "a very clear goal in Lebanon โ€” to return the residents to the north, all the communities in the north," Halevi said.

"I don't know when the war in the north is," he added. "I can tell you that the likelihood of it happening in the coming months is much higher than it was in the past."

He added that Israel would apply lessons it had learned from fighting in Gaza, should it embark on a campaign to push the Hezbollah terror group and others threatening Israel away from the border.

"We have a lot of lessons from the fighting in Gaza. Many of them are very relevant to fighting in Lebanon," he said.

Comment: They learnt that they can get away with even more egregious terrorism? And that any action will get caught up in the courts? That the US-UK-Germany will support them all the way?

Wednesday saw fresh bouts of cross-border fire, including a volley of some 20 rockets fired at the seaside border village of Rosh Hanikra in the afternoon, ending a rare period of some 24 hours in which no rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza, Lebanon or elsewhere.

No damage resulted from the rocket fire, with projectiles either being intercepted or falling in open areas. The attack was claimed by Hamas, which maintains a presence in Lebanon under Hezbollah protection.

A short while after the barrage, the IDF said it had struck the group that launched the rockets from southern Lebanon, and Hamas claimed responsibility, saying that its Lebanon branch launched the attacks and that one Hamas fighter was killed in the retaliatory IDF strike.

A second round of alerts a short while later were determined to be false alarms.

In addition to the rocket sirens, hostile aircraft invasion alarms sounded across several northern communities later on Wednesday afternoon, in an event which the Home Front Command said ended a short while later, and did not elaborate further.

The IDF carried out airstrikes against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon throughout the day on Wednesday. Sites hit by fighter jets included military buildings and other terror infrastructure, the IDF said, while tank troops shelled an area in Ayta ash-Shab, and artillery shelled an area in Dhayra, to "remove threats."

As a result of the incessant fighting, an estimated 80,000 people from the north have been displaced, some evacuating due to government orders and others due to their own concerns, with no way of knowing when they will be able to return home.

Since October 8, one day after the deadly Hamas massacres in southern Israel in which some 1,200 people were slaughtered and around 240 others were taken hostage, the Iran-backed Hezbollah has engaged in cross-border fire on a near-daily basis, launching rockets, drones and missiles at northern Israel.

Comment: Even Israeli officials have admitted that the IDF and the Hannibal doctrine is responsible for many of those killed on Oct 7th.

Note also that Israel, in addition to Gaza, has been launching airstrikes on Lebanon, and Syria.

Figures shared by the IDF on the 100th day of war showed that in the months since October 7, more than 2,000 projectiles have been launched by Hezbollah and armed Palestinian groups along the Lebanon border.

Since the start of the war in Gaza, Israel has acknowledged the high likelihood of a subsequent war on the northern borders and has vowed not to be taken by surprise again, as it was on October 7.

Comment: Israel knew months in advance and even issued a stand-down order on the day.

The country's political and military leaders have repeatedly stated that Hezbollah will have to withdraw its forces from the border area to north of the Litani River, as required by 2006's UN Resolution 1701, and that either this will be achieved diplomatically or by force.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has claimed in response that the violence along the Lebanon border is connected to the war in Gaza, and that Israel is seeking to launch a war on Lebanon.

He has threatened on more than one occasion to make Israel "pay the price" for both the war against Hamas in Gaza and for the skirmishes in the north but has stopped short of launching a full-scale war.

Comment: It seems that there is a lot of strategy going on, on both side, part of which has involved trying to stop Israel, whilst also allowing the world to see it for what it truly is, a consequence of which has resulted in much of the world is uniting against it.

In turn, Israel has contained fighting against the group to areas close to the border, but the clashes have still resulted in deaths on both sides.

Six civilians have been killed on the Israeli side, including a septuagenarian and her son, who died this week when an anti-tank missile slammed into their home in Kfar Yuval. In addition to the civilian deaths, nine IDF soldiers and reservists have also been killed.

Across the border, Hezbollah has named 162 members who have been killed by the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon although some also in Syria. An additional 20 operatives from other terror groups in Lebanon have also been killed, as well as 19 civilians, three of whom were journalists.

Comment: Israel fails to mention how many of its own troops it has lost. However Hamas' footage shows that it's likely that the losses are not insignificant.

International figures, including US special envoy Amos Hochstein and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have been dispatched to the region in recent weeks in an attempt to cool the boiling tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border, but seemingly to no avail, with Israel refusing to back down as long there is still a clear and present threat to the country's northern residents.